The University of Sioux Falls is monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation carefully and is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the USF community in accordance with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This site is updated as new details become available or information changes. Do your part to help keep USF safe. Read how you can play a critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Show your support and take the COVID pledge

COVID-19 Guide for students returning to campus

Campus Updates

August 7, 2020

A virtual COVID-19 Fall Planning Student and Parent Panel will be held Thursday, August 13 at 12 p.m. CST via this youtube link. President Bradfield along with others on the USF leadership team will share information about the fall semester and answer questions. 

During this virtual event, information will be shared about USF's further expanded partnership with Avera Health which provides students with 24/7 access to assist with COVID-19 symptom-related questions and treatment. In addition information will be shared regarding USF's COVID-19 Campus Response Team, campus modifications, and the panel will engage in an interactive conversation about how to help USF slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the external community. 

Email any COVID-19 related questions to COVID19@usiouxfalls.edu and if time allows the panel will make a good faith effort to address the questions this Thursday.
   
July 31, 2020
Read how you can play a critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Show your support and take the COVID pledge.

July 27, 2020
With the health and safety of its member institutions' communities, the importance of successful institutional campus reopening, and the overall well-being of student-athletes as the top priority, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Board of Directors unanimously supported a delay to the start of NSIC fall athletic competition.

Updated schedules for USF football, volleyball and soccer can be found here

The conference will continue to monitor the landscape and conditions surrounding the pandemic, locally, regionally, and nationally, and make any decisions or announcements at a later date. 

For more information on this announcement and a Q&A for student-athletes affected, visit www.usfcougars.com. 

July 22, 2020

 


June 29, 2020

Our Commitment
Keeping our USF family safe is our highest priority. Campus-wide health and safety measures are being implemented in tandem with a robust, "as normal as possible" university experience next fall.


University of Sioux Falls continues to monitor the number of coronavirus cases in the Sioux Falls area, which is trending downward according to the South Dakota Department of Health. As previously announced, the campus community looks forward to welcoming new and returning students back to campus in August with a modified fall semester as follows:

  • August 20 fall classes begin
  • No fall break
  • November 24 fall classes end

View the full 2020-21 Academic Calendar.

Watch our May 19 video for full fall semester details.

May 19, 2020

 

May 7, 2020

A virtual commencement recognition video will be released in place of each ceremony typically held in front of a full house at the Washington Pavilion. They will be released as a Facebook Watch party and on YouTube on Sunday, May 17:

  • 10 a.m. Graduate
  • 11 a.m. Undergraduate

All graduates are encouraged to dress up in their regalia for the watch party and celebrate virtually with their friends, family and fellow graduates. Graduates are also asked to submit their photos in regalia to USF for another short video compilation to come after graduation day. (HERE)

April 8, 2020

USF campus offices remain open and available to help Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to call or email offices rather than visiting campus offices in person.

All USF students will have access to the McDonald Center from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday – Sunday.  Building access is available only through a current USF ID card.  Students can call USF Campus Safety and Security at 605-321-6400 with any building access problems. All-access to academic and administrative buildings along with the Stewart Center, Mears Library and Athletic Complex have been suspended for the remainder of the semester.  All academic support, counseling services and administrative offices are still open and available to help.  Please refer to the online office directory found at https://www.usiouxfalls.edu/offices for contact information.  Please know that it is appropriate to leave voicemail messages for staff to retrieve along with your name and phone number to help with follow-up. 

April 1, 2020

Pass / No Credit (P/NC) Grading Policy, Spring 2020
In an effort to support our students, the University of Sioux Falls is making a modification to the university’s grading policy for the Spring 2020 semester. Undergraduate students will have the option to convert courses to Pass (P) or No Credit (NC), otherwise known as P/NC grading.

  • View this document for more information and a Q&A on this grading option.
  • If students have questions after referencing the document above they are encouraged to email their academic advisor or the USF Registrar at registrar@usiouxfalls.edu.

March 30, 2020

  • USF Academic Update: USF will deliver courses online for the duration of the spring semester.
  • Online Student Support: Students with questions or concerns are encouraged to email student.support@usiouxfalls.edu or text/call 605-202-5551 Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m and Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • Academic Support: The Thomas Kilian Academic Success Center continues to provide student support services to all USF students via distance and virtual meeting methods.
    • Online tutoring is available in nearly every subject area.
    • View a list of tips to help students find success in online courses.
    • Alternative textbook options are available in many subject areas via free eBook borrowing services such as Virtual Source, Red Shelf and Cengage.
    • Academic coaching and academic advising appointments are available via phone, WebEx, Zoom or email.
    • Career services are available as a lifetime service to USF students and alumni, including major/career exploration, resume review, cover letter review, and interview preparation. These appointments are also available via distance and virtual methods.
    • Please contact the ASC at 605-331-6740 or at ASC@usiouxfalls.edu with additional questions or to schedule an appointment.
  • Counseling Support: If students have a non-emergency counseling related question or concern, or would like to request counseling services, please call or email USF Counseling Services at: 605.331.6619 or Michelle.dk@usiouxfalls.edu.
  • IT Help desk: If students have questions about using MyUSF or about other technical resources and services provided by USF, please email the IT Help Desk at ITHelpDesk@usiouxfalls.edu or call  (605)331-6674.
  • Campus Housing: Students have until May 3rd to collect their belongings from their on-campus rooms. If Students cannot make it back to campus by May 3rd, USF will pack and store their items for them until Fall. Students should work with Student Development if alternative arrangements need to be made.
  • Mailroom: Students can complete this form to forward first-class mail for free (this does NOT include magazines, newspapers, coupons or packages). More information about mailroom hours will be communicated through campus email. Questions or concerns? Call the mailroom office at 605-331-6725.  
  • Library and Research: Many USF Library services are available remotely, from the library web site. You can access research databases through the “Subject Guides” tab and ebooks from the “Books” tab near the top of the main page. Along the right-hand side of the main page, you can ask for “Research Help” as well as submit an “Interlibrary Loan Request Form.” If you have any questions, please send an email to library@usiouxfalls.edu
  • Computer Labs: Computers and printers are available for student use for the remainder of the semester in Cooper’s Cafe in the McDonald Center starting Wednesday, April 1, 2020, from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily. The Media Studies Computer Lab in the lower level of the McDonald Center is available to students in specific media studies lab class and is accessible by USF ID access only and instructor permission.
  • WIFI Resources: Students may find WIFI support through the following resources. Comcast: Unlimited data for 60 days with no additional chargers Xfinity WiFi: Free network for everyone for 60-days nationally, waiving late fees, and helping low-income families get connected AT&T and Charter Communications: Free public Wi-Fi for 60 days, broadband for households with students through college age who don’t already have a subscription and removing all usage caps on all accounts Internet Essentials: Internet program for low-income families free for first 2 months and costs $9.95 per month after.
  • Campus Offices: The following University offices continue to be staffed and available to support students while practicing safe social distancing: Admissions, Financial Aid, Counseling Services, Mailroom, Business Office, Library, Human Resources, and Academic Success Center.

March 24, 2020

Dear USF Students,

The projected acceleration rate of the COVID-19 pandemic indicates a high likelihood of rapidly increasing positive cases emerging in the next two weeks. In addition, medical experts estimate perhaps an additional 8-weeks before the spread of the virus peaks sometime in late May or perhaps even early June.  Since we must rely on these credible data sources to make informed and responsible decisions, we have determined it is in the best interest of not only our campus community, but also the external Sioux Falls community and region that the University do its part to assist in flattening the curve of this spread. 

As a result, the University is officially announcing its intent to finish the remainder of the spring 2020 semester using the fully online platform implemented on Monday, March 23. Without question, our decision and your valued cooperation will positively contribute to community and regional efforts to ensure medical facilities and caregivers are not overwhelmed with cases, thus enabling them to provide timely and high quality care for those that have contracted this dangerous virus in a more measured approach.

As you may guess, such decisions are not easily reached because of the many implications for our students, faculty, staff, and overall University operations. However, we also know it is the best decision given the unprecedented circumstances created by this global health crisis.  With the opening statement of this paragraph serving as a contextual framework, be aware that we will be sending specific information to students in the coming days regarding many matters of significance including, but not limited to; room and board financial considerations, residential life information for personal property left in rooms prior to spring break, and Commencement information for seniors.  Furthermore, we will announce details regarding campus facilities and services that will remain available for student access and other information deemed necessary as we permanently transition to the online format for the remainder of this semester. Our goal is to have this important information sent to you prior to week’s end.

I fully realize that the conditions created by this situation have radically changed our world.  However, we also know that the measures we are taking will help facilitate our return to normalcy sometime in the future.  Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and perseverance under difficult circumstances.  While we will also communicate a similar message with your parents, I request that you share this information with them and alert them that a similar email will be forthcoming to them.  Be assured that our mission, values, and commitment to your success are unwavering.  Remain in touch as assistance is needed and look for periodic communications from the University.  I extend my thoughts and prayers that you and your families remain safe and healthy through this time of uncertainty. God bless.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls 


March 20, 2020

 

  • Courses will resume fully online Monday, March 23 through at least Friday, April 3.
  • The USF leadership team is meeting to determine what the next course of action will be concerning the remainder of the semester on March 27th and we will send out additional information at that time. 
  • Students are encouraged to log in to MyUSF and check their campus email prior to the start of classes resuming.
  • Hear a message of encouragement here.

March 12, 2020,

Dear Students (and Parents):

University officials have had extensive communications with various agencies and officials dealing with the serious and unprecedented health concern presented by the rapid emergence of COVID-19 in our region.  These communications have resulted in the University taking action and making decisions based on the welfare of the entire USF community.

Because the situation remains so fluid across the nation and region, it has required continual monitoring of the external environment and changing conditions.  Late yesterday afternoon, a conference call was convened with all of the presidents from South Dakota public and private universities and the technical schools. In that conversation, it was very apparent that there were as many varied circumstances as the number of institutions on the call.  Bottom-line, we find ourselves with a very fluid situation that presents challenges in creating long-term solutions.

At this time, the University will extend our spring break by one week. More specifically, classes will be suspended for the week of March 16-20. Then, effective Monday, March 23, the University will move all instruction to a fully online format through at least Friday, April 3. Any exceptions to this will be communicated directly from the following non-traditional Program Directors:

  • Jessica Cherenegar: Nursing
  • Steve Horan: MBA
  • LuAnn Grossman: Degree Completion Program (DCP)
  • Becky Thurman and Jared Berg: Graduate Education
  • Stacy Meadors: Workshops

Because this is a very fluid situation, at this time we cannot specify what the University’s plans will be after April 3. However, rest assured that University officials will provide frequent communication to assist students and families during this period. University offices will remain open and will continue to monitor the external environment during this time period.

Student-athletes should be aware that numerous announcements were made this afternoon by the NCAA that impacts select sports.  You should expect follow-up information coming to you specifically addressing sports-related information.

Students Living in the Residence Halls: Residence halls and modified dining services will remain open during the extended spring break and through the period of online instruction. If students plan to be on campus between March 16 and April 5, they must notify Residence Life using this form: USF Extended Break Housing Request. Please note that guests will not be allowed in the residence halls during this time.  Please be aware that students who do not complete the Extended Break Housing Request form by Monday, March 16, will have access to residence halls disabled in order to ensure facility security.   

The University of Sioux Falls remains fully committed to the success of all of our students.  While the instructional strategy has shifted, it is our intent to maintain high academic quality expected by our students and internal stakeholders. 

Finally, we will communicate with you, our students, through USF email. Thus, we ask that you frequently check your USF email for messages from your professor or other relevant University stakeholders.  We collectively hold each of you, your families, and our nation in our prayers.  Thank you for being part of our USF family.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls 


March 11, 2020

Dear USF Students, Faculty and Staff,

Like colleges and universities across the country, we continue to take steps to safeguard our community in a rapidly changing public health environment. Cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in South Dakota on Tuesday, March 10 with one being in Minnehaha County as reported in various media outlets last evening and today. We were informed this morning that the child of a gentlemen with a positive diagnosis was on our campus yesterday attending the Sioux Empire Water Festival (SEWF). That child and their family is now quarantined. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we have convened several meetings and calls with various schools, agencies, and services to expeditiously develop a plan of action in response to this information. Although the SEWF is not a program operated by USF, the directors charged with its coordination were extremely cooperative with University administration and the event was immediately suspended.

We respectfully request that residential students that left campus for spring break do not return to their residence halls prior to Sunday, March 15th. However, we realize there are unique travel circumstances for select students that will be honored upon their return, even if prior to March 15th. At this time, students who remained in the residence halls during break will be allowed to remain in their rooms. Again, I would emphasize that the event discovered this morning as noted in the first paragraph had literally no contact made with USF residence halls. The deep cleaning focus occurring over the next three days will be dedicated to public areas of campus facilities.

At this time, current plans are to resume with normal class schedules on Monday, March 16th while campus efforts to promote good health habits and other preventive measures will continue in earnest. However, the situation in the nation and region remains fluid as emerging information has demanded institutions like USF remain prepared for quick modification of plans.

USF residence halls remain open during this Spring Break time, however academic campus buildings will be closed, March 12 and 13, for deep cleaning. Normal operations will resume, Monday, March 16.

All USF students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check their USF email for the latest campus information. Expect another update from the Office of President on Friday, March 13, 2020.

The health and safety of community is our highest priority and we ask for your help in keeping everyone safe at this time. Thank you in advance for your active participation in our efforts to maintain a healthy campus.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls 

March 5, 2020

Dear USF Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We want to provide you with an update regarding the University of Sioux Falls actions and response to the COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus. The situation around the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak remains highly fluid as University officials continue to conduct ongoing research in order to make informed decisions that ensure the safety and well-being of the USF campus community and our extended community and region.

At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared that the virus is not an immediate threat to our community. However, we deeply care about you and your safety.  To that end, we will continue to closely monitor the information releases regarding this important health matter. In accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDH), the designated Emergency Response Team (ERT) from USF is meeting weekly and communicating daily in an effort to track developments and plan accordingly to ensure the safety and welfare of our community as the situation continues to evolve.

As part of this plan, we are actively working with those who are planning travel in both the long and short-term in an effort to mitigate risk factors.  We are also working closely with other campus partners such as our risk management providers, healthcare consultants, and the NCAA just to name a few. The University will also be closely monitoring any possible cases of COVID-19 that could emerge at USF. If such an event were to occur, be absolutely assured that we will immediately notify the USF community and healthcare officials in a timely and accurate manner, including advisement of precautions and actions that will be taken to prevent further spread of the virus.

Should there be a need to modify or cancel any classes or events, modify work schedules, or take other such actions relative to USF's typical academic, athletic, student development, and work schedules; such decisions would be communicated directly from the Office of the President in consultation with the ERT and other resources engaged in this community safety effort.  USF's ERT is fully committed to constant monitoring of alerts and guidance provided by the CDC and other federal, state, and city government officials.

We recognize that some of you have travel plans during spring break next week. You are strongly encouraged to follow the information being provided by the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html and especially note the suggestions for prevention by clicking on this link.  We are all responsible for our own health and well-being and also have a shared commitment to minimize the spread of this unfortunate health risk that is literally impacting the globe.

At this time, there are no adjustments to the day-to-day operations of the University. However, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and provide updates on this page and via USF email as more information becomes available. 

Please take time to educate yourself with the resources below and know that the University is fully prepared and committed to do whatever is necessary to ensure the welfare of our students, employees, and visitors to our campus.  Thank you in advance for your own personal efforts to assist in this most important endeavor. 

Best wishes,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls

Fall Academics FAQ

How will courses be delivered this fall? On-ground? Online? Other?
We are maximizing the number of on-ground courses we offer this fall while adhering to social distancing. Throughout the summer, we have been working through the details of how that applies to each course, taking into account the capacity of each classroom with social distancing. The result is a schedule that prioritizes on-ground courses but that includes a mixture of on-ground, remote, online, and hybrid courses running this fall. Explanations of each of these delivery modes are available on MyUSF. You can view your individual schedule and the delivery mode for each course by logging into MyUSF and going to "My Courses."

What if I have questions about my fall schedule?
A dedicated Student Support Team is available to answer questions about your fall schedule via phone, text or email. Please reach out to them with any academic questions you may have by calling/texting questions to 605-202-5551 or emailing student.support@usiouxfalls.edu.

Are there changes to the academic calendar for the 2020 Fall Semester?
The academic calendar for undergraduates has been revised in light of COVID-19 and the anticipation of a possible resurgence in late fall/winter. In particular, the 2020 fall semester will begin earlier (August 20) and end earlier (November 24) for undergraduates and omits a Fall Break. Final exams will be held Saturday, November 21; Monday, November 23; and Tuesday, November 24. The complete academic calendars for undergraduates and graduates are posted here.

What is the plan for graduate programs? Will start and/or end dates for those classes change?
The schedules for courses in the graduate programs at the University of Sioux Falls are unchanged. The complete academic calendar for graduate programs is posted here.

What will the rest of our academic year look like after the fall term?
November 24 is the last day of finals and of the 2020 fall semester. Our university's Interim Term will run fully online January 5 - 26. At this time, there are no changes planned for the 2021 spring semester.

How will we maintain social distance from each other in the classroom?
The university has reconfigured the tables and chairs in each classroom to adhere to social distancing. Instructors and students will have limited ability to move furniture and other materials in the classrooms.

What will my classrooms look like for the fall semester?
Social distancing will be in place in all instructional environments. Actions to promote social distancing include:

  • Placing six feet of distance between students (desks, chairs, etc.) in classrooms.
  • Controlling classroom entry and exit to minimize gathering/crowding.
  • Installation of technology in many of our university classrooms to permit remote learners to join interactive in-class sessions.

Will my advisor still be available this fall?
Yes. Advisors will be available for meetings and it will be up to each advisor whether those meetings will be in-person or virtual. As a supplemental resource, students should always feel free to contact the USF Academic Success Center at 605-331-6746. Student advising for interim and spring semester will begin mid-October.

Will professors still offer regular office hours, or will they be virtual?
Every professor will decide when and where to host office hours. They will be posting their office hours and clarifying whether they are in-person or virtual (e.g. through Zoom or MS Teams)

What should I do if I get sick and can't go to class?
Please reach out to the Academic Success Center at 605-331-6740 if you are ill and cannot attend class. They will work with you to notify all of your instructors and find a solution that is in your interest. 

What technology requirements are there for students?
While the focus of classes is for in-person learning, many courses will include virtual components. To prepare for the virtual and online aspects of your academic classes students will need to have the technology resources to enable continued learning. With that in mind, students should have access to an up-to-date computer and reliable internet with sufficient speed to handle virtual meetings and other streamed content. Students can run an Intenet speed test, by Googling "internet speed test." For optimal use of our primary video conferencing tools, students should have a bandwidth that supports at least 2Mbps. The system requirements to use Zoom are published here. The system requirements for Microsoft Teams are published here. Keep in mind, the specific technology resources may vary from class to class depending on the software used for that specific course. Students should confirm the requirements with their professors.

Fall Campus Life & Housing FAQ

RESIDENCE LIFE

What should I include in my packing list this fall?

  • Face coverings (re-usable, washable) suggested to have at least 3-7 to recycle among wearings
  • Hand sanitizer, alcohol-based with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cleaning supplies (i.e. sanitizing wipes)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin)
  • Thermometer
  • If applicable and possible, an extra month of supply of any prescription medication

When is move-in for new and returning students?
New residential students will follow the University's main move-in schedule on Monday, August 17. Returning students will follow the University's main move-in schedule on Tuesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 19. Some student groups require earlier move-in times and will need to follow the schedule in the early move-in schedule (see below). If you are not part of an early arrival group, follow one of these schedules:

New Residential Students | Monday, August 17
all new students will check-in at their assigned residence hall to pick up their orientation packet and room key. Student life staff and student leaders will also be available to help you move your items in your room.

8:30-9:30 a.m.Room numbers ending in 0 and 1
9:30-10:30 a.m.Room numbers ending in 2
10:30-11:30 a.m.Room numbers ending in 3
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Room numbers ending in 4
12:30-1:30 p.m.Room numbers ending in 5
1:30-2:30 p.m.Room numbers ending in 6
2:30-3:30 p.m.Room numbers ending in 7
3:30-4:30 p.m.Room numbers ending in 8
4:30-5:30 p.m.Room numbers ending in 9


When you arrive on campus, you will have an hour to park and unload your items at the residence hall entrance. Following that hour, families are welcome to park in a parking lot and return to the residence hall to continue unpacking. Items may be shipped to USF prior to your arrival to make the move-in process easier. The mailroom will be open during move-in to collect your packages when you arrive. All boxes should include the student's name and mailbox number to ensure it is sent to the correct location.

Due to a condensed Welcome Week schedule, we kindly ask that family members leave campus at the end of Move-In Day.

Returning Students
Tuesday, August 18 | Sophomores
Check-in between 9-5 p.m. in your residence hall with your Resident Director. Start the process by connecting with your Resident Director to inform them of your arrival.

Wednesday, August 19 | Juniors and Seniors
Check in between 9-5 p.m. in your residence hall with your Resident Director. Start the process by connecting with your Resident Director to inform them of your arrival.

Early Move-In Schedules
If you are part of a group listed below, you will arrive before August 17. Find your schedule below.

Resident AssistantsAugust 89 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Orientation CoordinatorsAugust 89 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cougar Activities BoardAugust 119 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ministry AdvocatesAugust 119 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Peer MentorsAugust 139 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Will families have to wear masks on campus for move-in?
Yes, in accordance with the University's masking policy, all guests and loved ones are required to wear masks when in the residence halls, campus buildings, or on the campus grounds.

How does social distancing work for a residential room?
One or two students will be assigned per room. All beds are lofted and placed so they run head-to-head and will need to remain in that location throughout the year. Move-in has also been spaced out over several days. Additional single room options are made available in Kroske, Grand Island and Burgess Halls and these options were made available earlier this summer to give students more options for residential living.

What will social distancing look like in the halls?

  • Residents should minimize close contact with others. USF advises all community members to maintain good hygiene habits and to practice social distancing in common spaces.
  • No daytime or overnight visitors from off-campus or other on-campus residences are permitted in one's room/apartment at any time.
  • Where possible, beds in shared rooms have been spaced 6 feet apart.

How to keep yourself safe sharing bathrooms.
Residents are encouraged to take measures to protect their health when using the bathroom in their assigned residence.

Community Style

Suite Style

  • Each resident should use proper handwashing techniques each time you use the bathroom.
  • Residents should avoid using the bathroom at the same time.
  • Do not share toiletries with others.
  • Avoid placing a toothbrush and other personal items directly on counter surfaces.
  • Use a tote for all personal items to limit their contact with surfaces in the bathroom.
  • Take out the trash daily.
  • Wipe down counters and door handles daily with a disinfectant cleaner.
  • Clean the entire bathroom (shower, toilet, and floor) weekly. It is best to split this duty with your suitemates.

What cleaning has been done in each resident hall?
Each residential room, apartment, kitchen and common space has been cleaned and disinfected with approved EPA listed disinfecting agents. Custodial staff schedules have been altered to allow more time to clean and sanitize in the residence halls, classrooms and common spaces across campus.

Immediately after move-in, residents are required to maintain, clean and disinfect their individual living spaces as well as their shared bathrooms, kitchens and common spaces, during their occupancy.

Residents should:

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Cleaning kits will be supplied in each common space in the residence halls. Residents are not to remove these cleaning kits for these spaces.
  • CDC Guidelines on "How to Clean and Disinfect"

What should a student do if they get sick?
USF is partnering with Avera health and all students will have 24/7 access to an on call nurse at 877-282-8372.

Self-isolation protocols - in the case of suspected contraction of or exposure to COVID-19, students will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. We encourage students to self-isolate at home or to find an off-campus location. Students needing to isolate on campus will need to work with the Director of Student Life & Housing. USF has set aside a few rooms to support students. While self-isolating or recovering, the student should:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Call ahead before visiting one's doctor.
  • Separate from other members of one's household.
  • Monitor one's systems.
  • Wear a face covering over one's nose and mouth.
  • Cover one's coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean one's hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces every day.

Additional information can be found here.

Any individual who is required to self-isolate will not be permitted to return to campus or leave the designated quarantine residential floor or wing until the following parameters are met:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (no signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications) and
  • The individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

If my roommate gets sick, where do I go? Do I have to quarantine with them?
Students will not be expected to quarantine together. We encourage students to quarantine off-campus or to return home. USF has reserved spaces on campus for those who may need isolation on a floor or wing separated from the rest of the residential population.

CAMPUS LIFE
Will there still be activities for students?
Yes, there is a robust schedule of activities planned and USF is continually adding to the schedule. If the activity will include a large group, USF will use a larger venue in order to offer social distancing.  In other cases, the event may be offered at multiple times with each group receiving a separate time. USF encourages student organizations to meet but they are encouraged to practice social distancing and wear masks in all communal spaces as a safety measure.

What safety measures are USF Dining services taking?
USF will limit self-service food options, and Aramark employees will serve students. The Dining Hall and Cooper's Cafe will be operating on a reduced capacity to ensure social distancing and all mealtimes are extended. There will be options to use disposable utensils, plates, and bowls. Take-out meals are also available.

Will students have access to the library and the gym?
Yes, and safety protocols are in place. Students will notice plexiglass shields, more distance between tables, chairs, desks and machines, and a readily available supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant. Students are required to wear masks in all communal spaces as a safety measure for themselves and others. There will be regularly scheduled deep cleanings in large spaces.

Face-Covering/Mask Policy

Face Covering and Fall COVID-19 Safety Measures
The University requires students, faculty, staff, coaches, vendors, visitors, etc. to wear a face mask while on the USF campus for the health and safety of all. Anytime someone is on campus, indoors or outdoors, a mask must be worn unless the exceptions below apply. USF respectfully requests that the intent of the guidelines be followed as it is impossible to address every situation.

The expectation is always to wear masks unless specific directions are given by the instructor, director or coach for specific spaces and activities on campus. Students in NCAA athletics should refer to athletic policies, and fine arts students should refer to USF musician policies. 

Masks must be worn on campus unless:

  • Students are in their residence hall room
  • Employees are working alone in their offices
  • Individuals are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot be worn, or would prohibit respiratory function, such as eating or participation in activities that make wearing a mask difficult such as performance in music, athletics, etc.

Students or employees hosting guests, vendors, or contractors on the USF campus are responsible for educating visitors to ensure compliance with USF's mask policy.

The face-covering/mask policy is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What is an Appropriate Face Covering?
Cloth face coverings, cloth face masks, surgical masks, and plastic face shields (in conjunction with wearing a mask) are considered appropriate and accepted as proper face coverings at USF. Bandanas are not an appropriate face-covering/mask at USF. All masks must be free of any images, colors, slogans or features that may be discriminatory or disrespectful, contrary to the USF Christian mission, or targeting individuals or groups.

When you wear face coverings:

  • Face-covering/mask must fit snugly, but comfortably, and allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Face-covering/mask must cover the chin, mouth, and nose and be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Avoid touching the part of the face-covering/mask that covers the nose and mouth.
  • Only make contact with the sides of the mask, straps or ties when putting on, taking off, or adjusting the mask.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before and after putting on or removing your face-covering/mask.
  • Launder the mask regularly and ensure that it has not been damaged or altered in the washing or drying process. It is strongly advised that a rotation of 2-3 masks are used to encourage frequent washing of masks to maximize their effectiveness and safety.
  • Store your mask in a breathable container, such as a paper bag.
  • For proper usage of face-covering/mask go to the CDC website.

Why We Wear Masks
The University's face-covering/mask policy has been established to safeguard all individuals' health and safety in our University community. The focus on health and safety represents a commitment to personal health and the health of other community members, not only on the USF campus but also to the extended community with which we interact.

The CDC, medical experts, and other credible science and medical sources acknowledge that facial coverings significantly mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Facial coverings are scientifically proven to reduce the trajectory of expelled respiratory droplets, which pose a significant risk to the transmission of COVID-19.

Accountability is Our Job
Public health is everyone's responsibility. USF is relying on our community members to adhere to, and assist with, enforcing these new standards of behavior consistent with our traditional motto of Culture for Service. Members of the community should feel comfortable confidentially reporting if they encounter someone purposely violating the face-covering/mask policy in a manner that threatens public safety and welfare. Such reporting should be directed to the USF Vice President of Human Resources at USFHR@usiouxfalls.edu.

As we embark on a new year at USF, shared responsibility for following masking and other new policies to keep USF safe are critical to our campus community. A friendly or informal reminder to a friend or co-worker to wear a mask could be, "Mask up please" or "Please remember USF's mask policy. Do you need help finding a mask?"

Any employee, student or visitor who purposely fails to comply with the intent of the guidelines may be asked or directed to leave campus. Employees and students who are directed to leave a campus space for failure to comply with these guidelines may be taken off work duty or out of class, and are subject to disciplinary action.

Requesting Alternatives
Any student wishing to request an alternative to the face-covering/mask policy should email the Academic Success Center at asc@usiouxfalls.edu.

Any employee wishing to request an alternative to the face-covering/mask policy should email Human Resources at USFHR@usiouxfalls.edu

Social Distancing
Social distancing is required on the USF campus and at USF-sponsored activities due to the critical role of social distancing in slowing exposure and the spread of COVID-19. The ultimate responsibility for social distancing remains the responsibility of each individual - help us keep you safe.

USF has implemented the following protocols:

  • In indoor locations across campus, the total number of occupants will be limited.
  • A distance of at least six feet must be maintained among individuals - rarely will there be a time that a 6-foot distance should not be maintained (e.g. athletic team practice).
  • The University has modified classroom learning space, workspaces, student seating areas and traffic flow patterns to promote proper social distancing.

Proper Hand Hygiene and Sanitizers
Practicing regular and thorough handwashing as well as using hand sanitizer are demonstrated to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Everyone is urged to wash their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially in the following circumstances:

  • having been in a public or shared space or physical contact with a high-touch surface such as door handles or counter surfaces
  • after using the restroom
  • after handling face-covering/mask 
  • before eating or preparing food
  • after using Kleenex to wipe the nose area, coughing or sneezing
  • before touching your face

If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Hand sanitizer is located at 100 stations throughout all campus buildings.

Thank you for working together to mitigate risk and help keep our friends, professors, colleagues and visitors safe and healthy this year at the University of Sioux Falls.

What should I do if I become ill?

Students feeling ill should:

  • Contact your primary care provider if you start to notice possible symptoms or have concerns about your health.
  • Call Avera Health Services at 1-877-282-8372. USF's partnership with Avera gives students 24/7 access to a registered nurse for any health-related advice concerning COVID-19. This call is at no cost to USF students.
  • If you are unable to reach your primary provider and are seriously ill, go to urgent care, emergency room or call 911. Call in advance to urgent care or the ER so staff is prepared for your arrival.
  • Avoid public spaces and self-isolate.

Self-Report Your Symptoms
Students need to submit a report to notify the COVID-19 Campus Response Team to help with your care and to reduce exposure to others within our campus. Submit a self-report form when any of the following apply:

  • You have received a positive COVID-19 test result
  • You have been tested for COVID-19
  • You have been instructed to self-quarantine for suspected COVID-19 infection

COVID-19 Self-Report Form

Self-Screening

The University of Sioux Falls is committed to safeguarding the members of our community and helping mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on campus through daily self-screening. Self-screening along with additional mitigation measures such as social distancing, face masking, and personal hygiene will help reduce the risk of spreading the virus within our community.

Every day before arriving on-campus or leaving your residence hall room, students should assess whether they have any COVID-19 symptoms and determine if they differ from their personal health baseline.

The university will not collect self-screening information from students.

Watch for symptoms

COVID-19 has had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Individuals with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

South Dakota Department of Health provides a COVID-19 screening tool to help you understand what to do next if you experience symptoms.

Monitor Your Health Daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19. It is especially important to monitor symptoms if you are going into settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop. A good practice is to take your temperature once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Track your symptoms daily to determine whether they have had any of the symptoms below that are different from your personal baseline. A self-assessment and tracking form is available here. View our daily screening questionnaire.

USF CARES Emergency Funding

Purpose

  • In response to the needs of our nation and higher education, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Within the provisions of this legislation, the University of Sioux Falls will receive funds from the US Department of Education, to award emergency grants to impacted students and to provide with some financial relief for those impacted by COVID-19. 
  • Emergency grant funds are intended to help students continue their education. Student expenses may include but are not limited to, food, housing, course materials, health care, child care, technology-related expenses, and transportation. 
  • The spirit of this program is to assist students that have experienced financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is focused on providing basic needs. Since the funding source for this program has limitations, we respectfully request that students who are fortunate to have their basic needs met do not apply as a means of serving the greater good of other students not as fortunate as a result of this health crisis. 

Eligibility

  • Students who have financial hardship due to COVID-19 and who are or could be eligible to participate in programs stipulated by Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA should complete one now in order to be considered for emergency grant funds. 
  • The application period for Spring and Summer grants has closed. Information regarding eligibility for the Fall 2020 semester will be announced during August.

Resources

  • Email USFCARESfund@USiouxFalls.edu with any questions you may have in regard to your application for an emergency grant.
  • Call Financial aid at 605-331-6623 or Student Accounts at 605-331-6640.

FAQ

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act is federal legislation, which provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One part of this federal program allocates money to The University of Sioux Falls, and a portion of that allocation can be awarded to students who are experiencing financial expenses due to the coronavirus. 

Who can apply?

If a student has filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA should complete one now in order to be considered for emergency grant funds. International, DACA and students enrolled in programs fully online are not eligible for funding. 

What kinds of expenses are allowable?

Funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, transportation, child care and health care expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. USF cannot apply grant funds to unpaid tuition and fees or room and board expenses. 

What additional resources are available within the community?

We understand that many students’ needs extend beyond university related expenses during this difficult and unprecedented time. Please review the additional local community resources available below and feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.

CARES ACT Disclosure Information

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Report as of July 6, 2020

  • The University of Sioux Falls signed the Department of Education’s Certification and Agreement form and intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  • USF received access to $518,087 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  • As of July 6, 2020 USF has distributed $186,835 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • USF has an estimated 1255 students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • As of July 6, 2020, 309 USF students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • In response to this legislation, USF leadership created a committee to review applications from students and award grant funds. The committee’s first meeting was April 27, 2020. Applications are reviewed for their eligibility and validity on a case-by-case basis. Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Be currently enrolled at USF, either full-time or part-time.
    • Have a current FAFSA on file (2019-2020 for spring applications, 2020-2021 for summer/fall applications.)
    • Meet the qualifications to be eligible for Title IV aid.
    • Have a qualifying expense due to either campus closure or moving to online courses.
  • No more than $2,000 will be awarded in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to a student at one time. A student may reapply every 30 days. A student can receive a maximum of $6,000.
  • The following guidance, concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grant for students, is provided online and on the USF application: Emergency Financial Aid Grant funds are intended to cover a student's expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These specific grant funds are not intended to replace lost wages. Expenses may include, but are not limited to, food, housing, course materials, health care, child care, technology-related expenses, and transportation. Documentation to support your application may be requested by the review committee. Examples may include additional housing or food costs due to moving off-campus, technology related expenses due to switching to online classes, or having to purchase textbooks or supplies due to no longer having access to campus. The USF CARES Emergency Funding section of our Coronavirus webpage provides supplemental information.

 

I feel anxious about the Novel Coronavirus. What can I do?

If you have concerns regarding symptoms, we recommend contacting your physician’s office. If you are feeling anxious or worried regarding the coronavirus, campus support is available through the ASC, Student Development or Campus Counselor.

USF COUNSELING SERVICES:

If students have a non-emergency counseling related question or concern, or would like to request counseling services, please call or email USF Counseling Services at: 605.331.6619 or Michelle.dk@usiouxfalls.edu

OTHER RESOURCES:
- The Avera Behavioral Health Assessment Team can be reached 24/7 at 605.322.4065 or 800.691.4336.
 
- If students are in need of family, financial, health, or other COVID-19 assistance, they may dial 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898211.
 
https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/selfcare.asp 

https://www.cdc.gov/ 
 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 
 
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 
 
https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx 
 
https://www.avera.org/how-to-prepare-for-the-coronavirus-covid-19/ 
 
http://211.org/services/covid19 
 
https://siouxfalls.org/covid19