Information for the Media
Will the media be notified of a positive case involving anyone who has attended class on the Brookings campus, visited the Brookings campus or lives on the Brookings campus?
South Dakota State University complies with the requirements of all applicable laws to make the campus aware of health and safety issues that place them at risk, as well as privacy and compliance requirements. SDSU cooperates with the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH). Not all positive COVID-19 tests require the entire university to be notified. Such information would only be shared with parties who need to know, e.g., people in close contact with the person who tested positive. In fact, the South Dakota Department of Health—not SDSU—reaches out directly to those affected in order to do contact tracing, etc. Not all people affiliated with SDSU who test positive for COVID-19 pose an infection threat for people on SDSU’s campus.
In cases where exposure to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 may have occurred on a larger scale, e.g., in a commonly used classroom, SDSU may send a message to the entire campus community or a particular unit or department. Such a message would inform those audiences that someone tested positive for COVID-19, that specific physical areas of exposure have been thoroughly sanitized and that those who suspect they may have been exposed should be even more vigilant in self-monitoring and adhering to all CDC guidelines among those who would have potentially been exposed. Personally identifiable medical information is subject to privacy rules and regulations and will be kept confidential in conformity therewith.
Official statistics about COVID-19 in South Dakota are maintained online by the official public health agency, the SD-DOH.
Can I still visit campus for interviews and/or video footage?
As a public institution, South Dakota State University is an open and public place that provides the news media reasonable access to campus. However, SDSU may regulate media access so as not to disrupt teaching or research, to protect the health and safety of students and staff, to protect the privacy of students and others who live on campus and to comply with state and federal laws on student and personnel data.
The media is generally permitted to film or take digital images or otherwise have access to spaces on campus that are open to the public, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. This includes access during normal operating hours to any building or portion of a building that is open to the public. Examples of these areas include:
- All campus outdoor sidewalks, green spaces and parking lots are open to the media;
- Campus events to which admission is free and open to the public are open to the media. Restrictions may be placed on cameras, lights, flashes and other equipment to minimize disruption. Advance notice may be required;
- Corridors and common areas within university laboratory and classroom buildings are open to the media;
- Common areas within the University Student Union are open to the media; and
- Classrooms are open to the media if they are not occupied.
How would I conduct an interview on campus?
When practicing social distancing, the media member(s) and SDSU employees/students can remove face coverings for better sound quality. It is recommended media outlets sanitize lapel microphones, etc., before interviewing someone.
Media outlets have also used extendable microphone poles when practicing social distancing.
As a media member, do I have to wear a face covering when on campus?
Currently, South Dakota State University requires face coverings in all public indoor spaces on campus. This action will be reviewed 30 days after the start of the fall academic term.
Public indoor spaces include entries into buildings, hallways, classrooms and common areas where people may gather.
Under Level 3, individuals are not required to wear face coverings while walking outside on campus. However, everyone is encouraged to wear them in high-traffic areas of campus and where social distancing is impossible.
SDSU’s face covering protocol, along with the protocol adopted by the South Dakota Board of Regents, serves as the framework under which SDSU may adjust operations in a timely and tempered fashion to accommodate the changing COVID-19 landscape on campus.
Can I visit a classroom? Are there any restrictions?
Media are only allowed in the following locations with express permission from an administrative authority. Certain areas may also only be accessed with an officially designated SDSU escort. These include, but are not limited to:
- Residential areas;
- Classrooms in session;
- Private offices of faculty, staff or students;
- Any secured area or laboratory;
- Intercollegiate athletics venues during workouts or practice;
- Miller Wellness Center;
- Areas where quiet study is enforced, including Hilton M. Briggs Library;
- Venues charging admission;
- Private functions that are not open to the public;
- Inside any facility that is not open to the public, including utility operation facilities, waste facilities, maintenance and repair facilities and public safety facilities; and
- Any marked construction area, areas controlled by law enforcement or other emergency responders, or hazardous or unsafe locations.