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Updated 8/3/2021 - The CDC COVID-19 tracker shows Rock Island County's level of transmission is "substantial," and Scott County's is "high." At those levels, the CDC recommends everyone (whether vaccinated or not) wear a mask in indoor public places and practice social distancing. Local health departments are asking everyone to follow all the CDC guidelines. Both departments say the best way to prevent serious illness and death from the coronavirus infection is vaccination. People from 12 years old and up are eligible and can find a place to get one at vaccines.gov. Vaccines The Scott County Health Department offers a weekday, Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic on the 4th floor of the Scott County Administrative Center, 600 W. 4th St. in Davenport. Illinois and Iowa residents are eligible, and walk-ins are welcome.Rock Island County Health Department, 309.793.1955. Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 am until 4 pm (but not during the noon hour) at its offices at 2112 25th Ave. in Rock Island. The CDC has a Vaccine Finder website for the entire country. Click HERE for a Quad Cities area search.Find a list of local providers as curated by the QC COVID Coalition on togetherqc.comCASI, the Center for Active Seniors in Davenport, is helping Scott County residents 65 and older with online vaccine registration. The number to call is 563.386.7477.COVID-19 Testing InformationBesides checking the county health department websites, check HERE for permanent Illinois DPH test sites and HERE for mobile test sites. Community Health Care clinics in the Illinois Quad Cities and the CVS in Rock Island are included, but registration and screening are required.Go to DoINeedaCOVID19Test.com to find pharmacies that offer free testing in both Illinois and Iowa.Iowa residents can register for a free COVID-19 test at TestIowa.com. The Iowa DPH testing in Scott County is by appointment at NorthPark Mall in Davenport.Local Resources:TogetherQC - Quad Cities COVID-19 Coalition ResponseRock Island County Health Department, 309.793.1955Scott County Health Department, 563.326.8618Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

American Rescue Plan Could Help Augustana College Recover from COVID-Related Deficit

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Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Moline helped pass the American Rescue Plan (ARP) earlier this year, and now colleges and universities are planning how to spend the relief money.

At Augustana College, Kai Swanson says a majority of its funding will go directly to students based on need. The rest will go toward covering COVID-related expenses and loss of revenue, which generated a deficit of 11.5 million dollars for the college.

“We had to spend on contact tracing teams. That was actually one way we avoided furloughs. We repurposed some of our colleagues to contact tracing in a very robust effort there, but you still needed to have some hotels for quarantine and isolation space.”

International students at Augustana College also faced challenges getting federal support last year. On a Zoom call today, Swanson thanked Congresswoman Bustos for the inclusion of international students in the ARP.

“We had about 160 international students for whom it was simply not an option to go home, and as you know, some of the early aid that was sent to higher education expressly prohibited benefiting our international students. Thankfully, that is quite anachronistic.

Early enrollment numbers for Augustana College’s fall semester are up. Swanson says they’re subject to change between now and the first day of school, but it gives him hope for higher education post-pandemic.