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COVID-19 Response Team

March 13, 2020

Students, faculty and staff:

The university, as part of its Emergency Management Team, has established a COVID-19 Response Team for the purpose of providing updates and information to the campus community and others who come in contact with our university.

The team is committed to the health and safety of everyone and will continue to provide updates and answer questions when information allows. This continues to be an unprecedented situation that is very fluid and changes almost by the hour. We will need the help of everyone to change the course of COVID-19 and eliminate the threat.

With the number of confirmed cases still increasing in South Dakota, the United States and around the world, it is quite probable one of us will come in contact with the virus. The reality is members of our university community will be exposed to the virus at some point.

The university continues to work diligently to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and we are engaged with public health officials around the clock to monitor the situation. We are working to be as nimble and responsive as possible. We understand you will have questions and we will provide answers as they become available. University leadership continues to explore all scenarios that may need to be implemented to ensure the safety of everyone.

In the meantime, please note:

  • The university requests individuals to self-identify if they believe they have been recently exposed to COVID-19. These individuals should self-isolate for 14 days.

Housing and Residential Life, Aramark and Facilities and Services are following CDC guidelines for cleaning throughout campus to mitigate COVID-19 risks. Departments and offices will be notified in advance if the cleaning measures will impact business operations.

Everyone is encouraged to practice safe workplace habits during this time that include:

  • Good hygiene;
  • Being careful with meetings and travel;
  • Handling food carefully; and
  • Staying at home if you feel sick or have a sick family member.

Also, please be aware of any symptoms per CDC guidance that are related to COVID-19. These include within 2-14 days of exposure:

  • Fever;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath.

More serious symptoms may include continuous difficulty with breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion and bluish lips or face.

The COVID-19 Response Team will be meeting over the weekend and twice daily for the next several weeks to work through the university’s pandemic plan and make decisions moving forward.

Updates will continue to be made to the COVID-19 Response website. Questions can be directed to the COVID-19 Response email address.

Thank you for your continued efforts and support as we navigate this situation.

Sincerely,

COVID-19 Response Team