COVID-19 Updates

Updated August 25, 2021

CGEE Programming updates. jump to:


Evaluating a Location’s Safety

CGEE has resumed in-person programming in select locations as of Fall 2021, assessing the suitability for resumption on a country-by-country basis, across a range of criteria.  Among the criteria are the following:
  • What is the incidence of COVID-19 in the destination country compared to the incidence in the parts of the United States where our students come from? 
  • Are public health experts saying that new COVID-19 variants pose a significantly higher risk for travelers to the destination country?
  • How are national and local officials addressing COVID-19 and protecting the public? Is the number of cases declining? Is the health care system able to handle the needs of foreign visitors like our students?
  • Do CGEE’s emergency and contingency protocols at the site allow for flexibility in course delivery if modes of delivery must be modified in the middle of a program
  • Are we able to implement and manage safety precautions in our facilities (social distancing, self-isolation needs, the disinfecting of classroom spaces, etc.)
  • Can we ensure an acceptable level of safety for our local hosts? Do they want in-person programming to occur?
Crucially, we now require all program participants to be vaccinated and to test negative for COVID-19 within 3 days of departure from the United States. In turn, we will confirm that the destination country offers fast and easy access to COVID viral testing, so that students can comply with Department of Homeland Security requirements for re-entering the United States when the program is done.

CGEE's data sources for making determinations include the WHO, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and the Minnesota Department of Health.  

CGEE does not rely on U.S. State Department Travel Advisories for the evaluation of COVID-related risks. State Department COVID advisories are correlated to the CDC’s Travel Risk Assessment system, which does not permit useful comparative analysis. Based on this system, nearly 80% of the countries in the world receive the State Department’s “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” advisory, with no distinction between places where COVID transmission is being arrested and places where it remains uncontrolled (as well as no adjustment for the vaccination status of the person traveling). In fact, not only would the United States itself receive a Level 4 advisory under this system, but COVID-related risks are actually higher in parts of the U.S. than they are in many of the countries with the Level 4 designation.
 
CGEE continues to rely on U.S State Department Travel Advisories for the evaluation of non-COVID-related risks. We do not operate programs in countries under a Level 4 advisory for risks related to violence, crime, political or civil unrest, terrorism, and recent natural disasters. CGEE also continues to incorporate CDC guidance into on-site health and safety protocols.


If you have questions about our decision criteria, please contact us at globaled@augsburg.edu.


Ensuring Safety During Programs

CGEE has developed on-site safety protocols in consultation with an epidemiologist and expert in global public health from the Augsburg University faculty. In addition, we incorporate recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and health authorities in the host countries where CGEE programs occur.

CGEE program site staff, including program support staff, have received training regarding the protocols and have participated in briefings with local health authorities. Depending on the country in question, these authorities have been representatives from the national ministry of health or representatives from provincial or municipal public health institutions.

For detailed information, please review our CGEE COVID-19 Protocols Document for our international locations (last updated August 2021).


For information on our “River Semester” see the River Semester Safety Protocols Document.
 


Vaccination Policy

To safeguard the health of students, staff, faculty, and community members on our programs, Augsburg CGEE requires program participants to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of full vaccination at least 2 weeks prior to the program start date.  This policy applies to international and domestic programs run and operated by Augsburg CGEE.

Program participants wishing to request an exemption from this policy for a medical reason or due to a sincerely held religious belief must submit a Vaccination Exemption Form to begin the accommodation process. Those seeking a waiver to this policy may submit a Vaccination Exemption Form, but it will rarely be possible to approve a waiver request, as doing so will, in most cases, present undue risk to local communities and require accommodations that would fundamentally alter program activities and curricula. 

The vaccination waiver process for off-campus study is in addition to any waiver approvals the University may have granted for on-campus study. Host country entry requirements or domestic venue requirements override any exemptions.


Announcements & Updates for Augsburg Students
(Exchange, Affiliate and Short-term Faculty-led)

Augsburg University has resumed off-campus study in most locations. See individual programs for more information. Augsburg students can view their program options here.


Customized International Programs

CGEE continues to plan, and accept proposals for, short-term customized programs with partner colleges and universities and other external institutions. Programs that are currently being developed comprise all CGEE locations—Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Colombia, Southern Africa, Italy, and Palestine. We anticipate high demand for customized programming in 2022-23 and therefore encourage partners to book their dates now to reserve their spots! 

See the CGEE Customized Programs page for more information, or contact our director of customized programs, Peggy Johnson (johnsop2@augsburg.edu). 
 


Virtual Learning

See the current online course listingsStudents taking online courses with CGEE will participate in interviews and discussions with prominent local change makers and movement leaders. Learning will occur within a context of critical analysis and both group and individual reflection. Check individual courses to see asynchronous/synchronous attendance requirements. 

Additionally, we are proud to continue our customized virtual programming! We are able to offer visits to a country or region from the comfort of your own classroom. Multiple options are available, including: Virtual Immersions, the Global Competence Certificate program, and the “World to Classroom” speaker series! For more information, contact our director of customized programs, Peggy Johnson (johnsop2@augsburg.edu).


Additional Contacts at CGEE

Many staff members can meet by phone or online via Zoom. If you would like to be connected to a CGEE staff member, please email us at: globaled@augsburg.edu. 
 

 

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