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COVID-19 Response

Cases in Brookings County and University locations are reported daily on the South Dakota Department of Health website, which is linked via the SDSU COVID-19 response page.

Student, employee and patient confidentiality laws prohibit the University from disclosing the identities of individuals. The SD-DOH statistics rely on information obtained by the DOH, the SDSU Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services, and other medical providers. There may be instances when the University does not know about new positive cases on campus or cases related to the University but are off campus, and/or if individuals on campus do not disclose to the University or health authorities that they have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, individuals who test positive may or may not have come in close contact with individuals on University premises or programs.

If students, parents, faculty, staff or community members have questions related to the University’s response to COVID-19, they may reach out via email and a COVID-19 Response Team member or designee will respond as soon as possible.  

For a current count of cases in South Dakota, visit the South Dakota Department of Health.


The following section will be used to communicate additional important information pertaining to COVID-19. Please continue to check this area of the website on a regular basis.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging news as we eventually look to turn the corner on this pandemic. We are still, as you most likely know, in the very early stages of the vaccine distribution.

We must remain vigilant in our approach to the pandemic and follow the guidance and policies of wearing our masks, social distancing, washing our hands, monitoring for symptoms and staying home when we are sick.

There will be a great deal of information coming out pertaining to the vaccine in next several weeks and months. We have established a link on the JacksRBack website where information will be posted as it is released.

We appreciate your attention to this encouraging news and continue efforts to manage the pandemic. We certainly have more work to do, but there will be a horizon to this pandemic in the coming months.

Spring 2021 Semester to Proceed as Planned

The South Dakota Board of Regents agreed to maintain a spring semester calendar of 77 class days for the six public universities, with the academic term beginning Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, and concluding Friday, May 7, 2021.

Read the full spring 2021 semester calendar release
View the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar

General COVID-19 Q&A

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. 

The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States. But individual risk is dependent on exposure.

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Under current circumstances, certain people will have an increased risk of infection, for example health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19.

CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.

Are there ways to deal with any stress I might be feeling during this pandemic?

When you hear, read or watch news about an outbreak of an infectious disease, you may feel anxious and show signs of stress. These signs of stress are normal and may be more likely or pronounced for people who live in or have loved ones living in parts of the world affected by the outbreak. In the wake of an infectious disease outbreak, monitor your own physical and mental health. Know the signs of stress in yourself and your loved ones. Know how to relieve stress, and know when to get help.

Where can students find answers to their questions?

A Latest Q&A website has been created for students. The page will be updated as information becomes available. 

Who can I contact if I have questions?
The COVID-19 Response Team has set-up an email account that is monitored daily, including weeks. Please email your question to the account.
Tips to keep yourself healthy
  • Contact your medical provider if you become ill or believe you have come in contact with someone that may have the virus.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (with a tissue or into your sleeve)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the restroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
What is SDSU's current international travel guidelines?

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount to our university. Based on the rising threats of the coronavirus, the university reserves the right, according to university policy 2:11, to suspend international travel for faculty and students planning a university-sponsored event according to travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State.

Based on the State Department’s travel advisory and health advisory levels, the university has suspended all SDSU-sponsored and SDSU-endorsed international travel. This suspension will remain in effect until further notice.

Questions pertaining to international travel should be directed to the Office of International Affairs at 605-688-4122.

Where can I find sources of information about Coronavirus?

Given the fluidity of the pandemic and how information is being updated as such a rapid rate, the following websites provide some of the best sources of information:

Seeking Treatment

If faculty and staff are seeking treatment for COVID-19, please call your respective medical provider.

If people seek treatment for COVID-19 at Brookings Health System’s emergency department, call 605-696-9000. If they visit one of the local clinics for COVID-19 treatment, call that clinic’s respective phone number. Visit the Brookings Health System website and click on "our locations."

Other Brookings-area health care providers include Avera and Sanford.

COVID-19 News

See All Our News
Department of Environmental Health and Safety decontamination

Department of Environmental Health and Safety decontaminates masks for campus, community

South Dakota State University’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety has been decontaminating N95 masks for the university since September and Brookings Health System since mid-November.

COVID-19 testing capacity available to test SDSU students

While current self-reported COVID-19 cases on the South Dakota State University campus are less than 100, the university has the capacity to test up to 200 students daily for COVID-19.

SDSU COVID-19 testing

SDSU offers students COVID-19 drive-thru testing

South Dakota State University is offering COVID-19 drive-thru testing by appointment for SDSU students. Testing started at 1 p.m. Wednesday.