SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A year ago, many college students were wrapping up spring break and learning they would be finishing their semester of schooling online. Now life on campus looks different with masks and social distancing. And soon things may change again with the vaccination rollout.
It wasn’t just Augustana University faculty getting their COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday, some students living in dorm settings were also able to get the shot.
“Living in the dorms, it’s kind of like, really tight and you kind of just don’t want to give it to other people on your floor, so I’m excited to not have these risks anymore,” Jillian Barkus, a sophomore at Augustana University said.
“One of the biggest things about me getting the vaccine is I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my family because I have a lot of higher risk aunts and uncles, so now I’m really excited to get the vaccine and be able to spend time with them,” Logan Swanson, a fifth year student at Augustana University said.
Augustana University and Sanford Health are working together to get students who live in the dorms fully vaccinated before the summer break.
“I would definitely say that it’s nice before summer comes,” Tatum Barsted, a senior at Augustana University said. “Then we, first of all, don’t have to worry about it and I know I’m moving to Arizona so things are going to be crazy after I graduate and things like that.”
College faculty and staff at Augustana are still getting their shots as well.
“Augie has done a really good job of providing an environment that’s safe for us to continue to teach and learn and live in community, but the masks are a barrier, certainly, to relationships and those kinds of things,” Beth Boyens, assistant professor at Augustana University said. “So, I’m anxious to not be masked when I’m talking to my students.”
A sigh of relief after a hard year.
“It’s kind of wild that a year ago, we went to Spring break and then we didn’t come back,” Swanson said. “So, knowing that I’m getting this vaccine and everything for next year’s Spring break, you know, we’ll be coming back. I’m really excited for that not to happen to anybody going forward.”
The South Dakota Department of Health says they will be moving to Phase 1E of the vaccination rollout on Monday, March 22. That will include fire service personnel and other critical infrastructure workers.