March 12, 2020
Faculty and Staff,
As you know, South Dakota has its first confirmed cases of COVID-19. South Dakota State University and the Board of Regents are working closely with the SD Department of Health and other agencies to ensure that we have a safe and healthy workplace. We will make every effort to keep you informed as this fluid situation continues to evolve. Our goal is to communicate effectively, and work together to ensure we can do our jobs and care for our families.
The University leadership and Board of Regents have elected to extend the break for students from classes through March 20, 2020, to allow for further assessment of the COVID-19 situation, and prepare for alternate operations on campus should the need arise. Faculty and staff should report to work as scheduled.
We understand that the spread of COVID-19 may impact you and your families whether related to work changes, school and daycare closures, or illness. Should these things happen, please discuss options for leave usage and/or working remotely with your supervisor and human resources office.
Success will require all of us to be flexible, patient, and understanding as the situation develops. Please communicate with your supervisor and human resources office if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have recently traveled to a highly impacted area. If you are immune compromised or believe you or a member of your household may have the virus or is diagnosed with COVID-19, please work with your medical provider to determine next steps and communicate your needs with your supervisor and the human resources office.
In response to this health event, all non-essential international travel will be cancelled, and domestic travel will be limited and evaluated on a case by case basis, until further notice. We will continue to work with the Department of Health to provide guidance on decisions related to travel for work and protocols for return. If necessary, we are committed to supporting our employees and intend to utilize short-term remote work strategies where possible for individual positions and circumstances.
Please take common sense steps to limit the COVID-19 virus’ impact on you and others:
- Stay home when you are sick
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face
- Cover your mouth with tissues when you sneeze and immediately discard them in the trash
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms
- Frequently clean touched surfaces
If you experience symptoms (ex. cough, fever, or shortness of breath), please call your primary care provider before going to the clinic or another facility. If you do not have a primary care provider, we recommend utilizing telemedicine options included in our health plan. The state health plan will cover 100% of the costs for lab tests related to COVID-19 diagnosis. It will also cover medical expenses connected to a COVID-19 diagnosis under normal plan benefits.
Direct your questions for your specific situation to your supervisor or SDSU office of human resources at 688-4128.
Thank you for your help and flexibility as this situation continues to evolve.
Vice President for Technology & Security