The following section will be used to communicate important information pertaining to the return to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to check this area of the website on a regular basis.
Community Vaccination Centers Scheduled for April 1 and April 15
March 24, 2021
The Brookings County Pandemic Planning and Coordination Committee (PPCC) has scheduled two upcoming community vaccination centers, also referred to as points of dispensing (PODs), for April 1 and April 15. Both events will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Swiftel Center in Brookings on their respective dates.
Limited first dose vaccines will be available to Brookings County residents who fall under Phase 1D or Phase 1E of the Department of Health’s vaccination plan. Eligible individuals can register for either date and do not need to wait to receive a call from their clinic to register. Registration is required and walk-ins will not be accepted. Recipients must register in advance. Individuals registered for the April 1 community vaccination center must commit to receiving a second dose on April 29; those registered for the April 15 date must commit to receiving a second dose on May 13.
Eligible Brookings County residents may call 605-692-2811 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays or visit brookingshealth.org/POD to register for a vaccine appointment on either date.
Read the full announcement vaccination centers announcement for additional information.
SDSU Anticipates “More Normal” Campus Operations for Fall 2021 Semester
Posted March 15, 2021
The South Dakota Board of Regents announced that the six public universities and two special schools are planning for more normal operations this fall.
This is certainly encouraging news and something the JacksRBack Task Force and COVID-19 Response Team have started discussing. With the rollout of vaccines, there is certainly optimism about a more normal operation next year. But let’s be reminded that we still have work to do in the coming months and must remain vigilant to our current protocols in order to finish this academic year strong.
In the coming weeks and months, communications about our plans and protocols for the 2021 fall semester will be shared. We will continue to follow our current protocols through the remainder of the spring semester and then turn our attention toward the next academic year and what the new normal will mean.
We recognize that a transition to a new normal needs to occur over a period of time so that we can gradually work toward a safe return for employees and students. We anticipate that transition beginning after this semester concludes. We will be transparent in our approach and planning as to what that transition will entail.
Read the full "More Normal” Campus Operations for Fall 2021 Semester announcement for additional information.
Additional News and Press Releases:
COVID-19 Vaccinations Release Time
Posted Mar. 11, 2021
On March 10, 2021 we were notified that the vaccinations were released for the COVID-19 Priority Group D group, including Teachers, College Staff, and Funeral Workers. At this time, SDSU supports reasonable release time for vaccination, with supervisor approval. It is understood that with some types of vaccinations, there may be side effects. Leave accruing employees who are experiencing side effects may request sick leave, annual leave or leave without pay through the online leave request system.
As a reminder, for those who are covered by the South Dakota Employee Health Plan, the costs for COVID-19 testing and the cost for the COVID vaccine if incurred by an in-network provider will be covered at 100% thru June 30, 2021.
Select links to information about the COVID-19 Vaccine may be found on our COVID-19 Vaccine site.
Please contact Linda VanMaanen in Human Resources if you have any questions about leave at 605-688-4128.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Priority Group 1D
Posted Mar. 10, 2021
Today the South Dakota Department of Health announced it will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to everyone in Priority Group 1D. This includes K-12 employees, university employees and students who live in congregate settings, such as residential life facilities and campus-owned apartments.
At this time the best way to check for vaccine availability in your area is through the vaccine finder website. The COVID-19 vaccine page on sdstate.edu also includes links to vaccine providers under “Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?”
Read the full COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Priority Group 1D announcement for additional links and information.
Brookings campus safety level changes from ORANGE 1 to YELLOW
Posted Mar. 3, 2021
The campus safety level for the Brookings campus has changed from ORANGE 1 to YELLOW.
A yellow campus safety level is based on state and local COVID-19 transmission data indicating a low or moderate level of community spread. Orange 1 was based on moderate or substantial levels of community spread.
Please note that the safety level change most impacts:
- Events – Virtual interactions are encouraged in yellow, while highly encouraged in Orange 1;
- Events – External events attendance may include up to 120 individuals when social distancing is possible in yellow and 60 in Orange 1;
- Travel – University travel is conducted under strict protocols in yellow, while Orange 1 allows only for mission essential travel.
- Student Life – Guest policy remains in place, while food delivery is now open to the lobby areas of the halls. We continue to follow CDC guidance for congregate housing and the importance of limiting any spread of COVID-19 in our residential halls.
SDSU pandemic room capacities are modified by the campus safety level. Please continue to follow all JacksRBack plan requirements, including in planning for events.
Posted Jan. 8, 2021, in effect until further notice.
Due to the current Orange 1 COVID-19 Safety Level, effective January 8, 2021, the SDSU COVID Response Team will adhere to the following limitations for events:
- No indoor events or activities with more than 120 participants will be approved, regardless of adjusted COVID facility capacity. This aligns with adopted classroom health and safety standards.
- Non-SDSU, as defined in the JRB Event Protocols, event plans continue to require COVID Response Team review and approval. No events for external groups with more than 60 participants will be approved, regardless of adjusted COVID capacity.
- Previously approved group activities must stringently comply with health and safety event management protocols as they proceed during this time.
- Limitations do not affect NCAA Intercollegiate Athletics programming, which have separate, more stringent COVID protocols established in accordance with NCAA requirements.
Please be aware that COVID Response Team large group event exception approvals are conditional and will be modified based on changes in the COVID situation. This is an evolving situation, and the COVID Response Team will monitor community transmission levels, hospitalization rates, and other factors, and increase or lift these limitations based on changing circumstances. Please continue to watch for communications from this team and plan to modify plans accordingly and/or resubmit requests. Thank you for your cooperation during this time.
Posted Jan. 4, 2021
There is certainly encouraging news with the continued distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, but we must stress the pandemic will be ongoing for several more months. It is critical that we remain vigilant in our efforts to protect each other and continue to follow protocols for distancing, hygiene and wearing our masks. This is not a time for us to let our guard down!
A vaccine page has been created on the JacksRBack website where available information will continue to be posted. We will directly communicate any information that pertains to vaccine distribution that is relevant to campus.
Pass your first test of the semester!
Posted Jan. 4, 2021
We are strongly encouraging students and employees to get a COVID-19 test prior to the start of the spring semester. It is important that we manage any spread of the COVID-19 virus at the onset of the semester in order to reach our new goal of completing the spring semester on campus.
All students received an email on Dec. 23 providing information about the Vault Health testing opportunity while at home during the break. If you were not able to take advantage of that opportunity or want another test, the student drive-thru testing center in the west concourse of Dana J. Dykhouse stadium will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. today through Saturday. More information about testing is available on sdstate.edu.
The SDSU student testing center is free to all students and results are generally provided within 24 hours.
Employee testing is not available on campus, so please contact your healthcare provider if you want to receive a test or employees may also order a Vault Health testing online at no cost.
The South Dakota Department of Health is also offering free testing this week at the HyVee Pharmacy. You must register and bring a printed test voucher to receive the test.
Quarantine and Isolation update
Posted Jan. 4, 2021
The CDC updated its guidance for quarantine and isolation requirements prior to the holidays. Under the new guidance:
- Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if NO symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring;
- Quarantine can also end after Day 7 if you test negative and if NO symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The testing can be conducted within 48 hours (Days 5 or 6) before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation, but quarantine CANNOT be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.
- Students will be allowed to leave QIH housing to receive a test at the student drive-through testing center, and
- Students living in SDSU housing will need to provide proof of a negative test to their hall director if they discontinue QIH after Day 7. A positive test on Day 5 or 6 extends quarantine and isolation for another seven to 10-day window.
Please note that in both cases, continued symptom monitoring and masking at all times through Day 14 must be met.
Replacement Face Coverings
Posted Jan. 4, 2021
The university has received replacement face coverings for students and employees. They are the same face coverings that were provided in the JacksRBack kits prior to fall semester.
Distribution of the face coverings will begin the week of Jan. 4, 2021. Employees will have their face coverings delivered to their building or department in a similar fashion to the JacksRBack kit distribution in the fall.
Students living on-campus will obtain their replacement masks from their community assistant upon returning from break.
Students living off-campus will be able to pick up a replacement set of face coverings at Info Exchange located in the University Student Union, beginning Monday, Jan. 11. You must have your student ID scanned to receive face covering.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Posted Dec. 17, 2020
Campus Community –
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.
COVID-19 Testing Open for Students
South Dakota State University takes the health and safety of our students seriously. To that end, we are opening the SDSU student testing site in Brookings to all SDSU students free of charge. The testing process will remain the same, but students do not need an invite to be tested. Testing is voluntary.
For additional testing information, please visit the COVID-19 Testing page.
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.
Face Covering Protocols
South Dakota State University requires face coverings in all public indoor spaces on campus (Level 3) until further notice. The protocol went into effect Aug. 1, 2020, under Level 3. Exceptions to the policy can be found in the SDSU's COVID-19 Face Covering Protocol.
Previous Video Communications
- Campus Town Hall Meeting | August 18, 2020
President Dunn and members of the JacksRBack Task Force answer a variety of questions individuals have asked heading into the new academic year.