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Important Information

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.

Fall Semester Return to Campus Information

Posted July 7, 2021

SDSU Community –

As we finish celebrating the Fourth of July holiday, our attention continues to focus on the fall semester and the full return to in-person, on-campus instruction and activities. We are excited for full classrooms, a vibrant student union, large events like JacksBash2 and football games with tailgating, no guest restrictions for the residential halls and regular activities for student organizations and groups.

We continue to maintain our JacksRBack website with important information and any information pertaining to the university’s operations. As a reminder, it was recently announced we plan to begin the fall semester under our Blue Safety Level. The South Dakota Board of Regents Policy for face coverings is at Level 0, meaning face coverings are optional on campus and may not be required with few exceptions.

The Blue Safety Level also means we are operating the campus at our pre-pandemic levels with great anticipation for an exciting year. Vaccines are not required, but we continue to strongly encourage all our employees and students to be fully vaccinated by the start of the semester to ensure we can maintain that vibrant campus throughout the year. COVID-19 is something we will need to continue to monitor.

Read the full Fall Semester Return to Campus Information announcement.

Campus Safety Level Changed to Blue

June 17, 2021

SDSU Community –

The COVID-19 Response Team has moved the campus safety level from Yellow to Blue, effective immediately. The change is based on recent transmission data of COVID-19 that indicates Brookings County is under minimal community spread.

The most noticeable changes under the Blue Safety Level include:

Campus – SDSU is open and following pre-pandemic capacity guidelines with few exceptions.

Academic – Courses typically delivered in-person are face-to-face with few exceptions.

Employees – Office and lab interaction restrictions are lifted.

Events – Event plans do not have to be reviewed by the COVID-19 Response Team.

Event Capacity - Certain spaces may not be available at full capacity until July 1 based on previous event planning and/or current room setup. However, event planners may adjust to full capacity for those events scheduled prior to July 1, if the space allows for adjustments.

Residence Life – Residence halls are open with pre-pandemic capacity with no guest nor food delivery restrictions.

Food Service – Dining Services are open and will operate without capacity or seating distance restrictions.

Travel – Travel is not restricted.

We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty and staff. Our COVID-19 teams will continue to monitor the situation and provide situational updates, but we fully expect to begin the fall semester under the blue safety level.

Vaccines will not be required for faculty, staff or students prior to the start of the semester, but we do encourage anyone eligible to receive one. A high immunization rate in our SDSU community can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help us continue to operate without restrictions. Current CDC guidance does not require fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.

Please enjoy the remainder of your summer and we will see you soon!

Additional News and Press Releases:

Fall Semester Preparation

Posted May 17, 2021

SDSU Campus Community –

In preparation for the fall semester and our phased return to campus, the team in Facilities and Services has started to remove COVID-19 related signs and stickers across campus. With the continued availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the opportunity for each of us to receive one, this effort is supported by the COVID-19 Response Team and the JacksRBack Task Force.

“Mask required” and directional signage removal has already begun. Elevator capacity signs and social distancing signs will also be removed, but educational based signage pertaining to best practices on keeping yourself and others healthy and safe will stay unless it is in poor condition or does not reflect current guidelines. For consistency across campus, we ask that you not install your own signs.

We will also reset classrooms and common areas to accommodate more students. We will remove Plexiglas barriers from classrooms and other main entry areas around campus. At this time, hand sanitizer and disinfectant will still be available for those who want to use it.

Some locations will have paper towels and spray and others may have disinfectant wipes depending on the services provided in those locations. We will replenish items as needed. Please be patient as it will take some time to get to all spaces.

We will also be bringing all water fountains back online during the next few weeks. We ask that you do not attempt to bring the fountains online yourself as there are a number of steps we will be following to insure they care cleaned and flushed prior to use. Once in operation, they will be cleaned and serviced per CDC guidelines.

If your area has a bottled water cooler, you can resume use, as long as it starts with a fresh bottle.

Thank you for your attention and help with this effort. If you have any questions, please contact facilities and services.

SDSU Moves to Face Coverings Optional Policy May 10

Posted May 4, 2021

Starting Monday, May 10, 2021, South Dakota State University will be a “face coverings optional” environment.


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

SDSU Community:

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 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.