In order to welcome faculty, staff, and students safely back to class, schools and universities across the nation are creating innovative protocols in line with the recommended COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC.

The South Dakota Board of Regents recently announced that all six public universities are requiring their employees and students to wear a face-covering or mask in public indoor spaces.  This safety measure applies to Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and the University of South Dakota.

For now, this action plan will be in effect for the first month of classes.

The Executive Director and CEO of the board, Dr. Brian Maher explains in a press release that this response from the Board of Regents is a "practical way to the changing COVID-19 landscape at campuses and within their respective communities."

A recent article post from the Argus Leader lists the South Dakota Board of Regents' four-level response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The following is its four-level plan:

  • Level 1: Face coverings will be required in all classroom or lab settings that require close proximity and physical contact.  This also applies when social-distancing practices aren't possible.
  • Level 2: Individuals will wear a face mask in public spaces of academic buildings on campus and indoor areas that consist of 30 people or more.
  • Level 3: All people will be required to wear face masks throughout campus in indoor spaces.
  • Level 4: Face masks will be worn in all outdoor and indoor areas of campus.

Students will begin the academic year at Level 3 of the COVID-19 Response Plan.

The first semester is set to start on Wednesday, August 19th.

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