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Face Covering Protocol

Current Status: Level 3

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 below.

COVID-19 Face Covering Protocol

The face covering protocol contained herein, along with the protocol adopted by the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR), serves as the framework under which South Dakota State University (SDSU) may adjust operations in a timely and tempered fashion to accommodate the changing COVID-19 landscape on its campus. This protocol is based on and subject to that of the SDBOR, as well as recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SD-DOH and will change in accordance therewith. See also: and

In its protocol, the SDBOR adopted a tiered system regarding face covering requirements, which is applicable at SDSU. SDSU has developed the following requirements for protocol implementation:

  1. Effective Date
    1. This protocol became effective at SDSU Aug. 1, 2020, and will remain in effect until further notice.
  2. Face Covering Requirements
    1. All students and employees were provided the opportunity to receive two (2) reusable cloth face coverings. The logoed face coverings were provided through the JacksRBack kits, which were distributed to employees and students in August 2020.
    2. Employees and students will provide their own face coverings that comply with this protocol or utilize disposable coverings supplied to each department in the event they can not use their provided face coverings from the JacksRBack kits.
    3. Each department has been supplied with a number of disposable face coverings that can be offered to visitors who do not have their own face coverings.
  3. Face Covering Care and Replacement
    1. Face coverings should:
      1. Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face;
      2. Be secured with ties or ear loops;
      3. Include multiple layers;
      4. Allow for breathing without restriction; and
      5. Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
    2. Face coverings should not:
      1. Be made of mesh or other fabric with holes; or
      2. Have a valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling or other openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material or vents.
    3. When wearing face coverings, individuals should:
      1. Wash their hands before putting on the face covering;
      2. Put it over their nose and mouth, secure it under their chin, and try to fit it snugly against the sides of their face;
      3. Make sure they can breathe easily; and
      4. When removing the face covering, handle only by the ear loops or ties and fold the outside corners together.
    4. When storing or laundering face coverings:
      1. Face coverings can be stored in a clean paper bag.
      2. Cloth face coverings should be washed after every day of use.
      3. Cloth face coverings can be included in laundry. Regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting should be used for cloth face coverings.
      4. Cloth face coverings can also be hand washed in a sink or similar by using water and a small amount of household bleach, soaking for approximately 5 minutes and rinsing thoroughly.
      5. Cloth face coverings can be dried in a household laundry dryer or placed flat on a towel or similar and left to air dry.
    5. Employees and students received training on the appropriate wearing of face coverings.
      1. Employees were trained through Mandatory Employee COVID-19 training.
      2. Students were trained through SDSU Student COVID-19 training.
    6. Non-logo face covering replacements will be provided to students and employees at their cost, in accordance with applicable law.
      1. All employee replacement face coverings will be stored by and distributed from Facilities and Services or the Environmental Health and Safety Office.
      2. All student replacements will be distributed by Residential Life.
  4.  Enforcement
    1. SDSU has adopted the enforcement protocol included in the SDBOR protocol, which provides both informal and formal correction for employees, students and visitors.
  5. ADA Accommodations
    1. SDSU provides accommodations for individuals in conformity with the Americans with Disabilities Act, its amendments and implementing regulations. Accommodations for students are made once the disability has been verified by Disability Services (605-688-4504). Reasonable accommodations for employees may be facilitated through the Office of Human Resources (605-688-4128).
  6. Exceptions
    1. Specific situations may necessitate face covering removal, including but not limited to when the person has trouble breathing, is unconscious or unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
    2. Requests for consideration of exceptions to the face covering protocol outside of ADA accommodations may be routed to the SDSU Emergency Management Team Chair for review and consideration.
    3. Face coverings exemptions will be allowed under the following scenarios:

      1. When alone in a private office or enclosed study area;

      2. When inside campus residence hall rooms or apartments; however, face coverings are still required in common areas such as hallways, common restrooms and when visiting other rooms;

      3. Individuals exercising, training or practicing in the Miller Wellness Center and intercollegiate athletic facilities, except as required for conference compliance, may remove the cloth face covering while under physical exertion or in other situations where wearing a mask compromises their safety and welfare;

      4. Persons engaged in other activities that make wearing a face covering impractical, such as playing an instrument, singing, performing in a theater production, eating and/or drinking;

      5. In instances or spaces (such as welding labs, nursing labs, etc.) in which other requirement for personal protective equipment (PPE) make it either impractical or unsafe to wear an additional face covering;

      6. When alone in a state vehicle or utility vehicle; and

      7. Children under the age of 5 and those who cannot physically remove a face covering without assistance, or those who have requested and received a necessary accommodation are not required to wear face coverings. All children between the ages of 2 and 4, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering.