Below are historical COVID-19 campus updates and data.
2020 Campus Updates
May 27, 2021
As of May 17, masks are now optional on campus, indoors and outside, but are required for classes (although this policy may be modified by individual instructors).
March 11, 2021
President Bradfield shares about planning for the Fall 2021 semester.
January 4, 2021
USF continues its efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on campus. All students and employees are required to continue to report to Human Resources a confirmation of positive COVID-19 tests. Keeping track of positive cases is critical to help USF contain the spread of COVID.
Stay off campus, and report immediately if:
- you are feeling ill or experiencing any symptoms
- you or someone in your household has tested positive
- you, someone in your household, or a close contact has tested positive or are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
- an individual in your household is ill or has a similar situation that gives you pause to think you should remain away from others
See self-reporting buttons above.
Masks are required to be worn on campus at all times unless an individual is alone in an office, classroom or Residence Hall room. Masks must be worn over one's mouth and nose. No one is exempt from the mask policy on the USF campus.
- All events and gatherings on campus will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The decision will be based on the specific event, the number of participants, space desired to be used, the time of year, whether academic and required for major, etc. Anyone wishing to have an event, meeting, gathering on campus inside or outside must reserve the space by emailing FER@usiouxfalls.edu or calling 605-331-6802. Once a reservation is requested, each event will be vetted with the appropriate people before a decision is made.
The University COVID Response Team will continue to review policies necessary for revision, basing decisions on experts such as the CDC, the State of South Dakota Department of Health, Avera medical professionals, and others as appropriate.
November 20, 2020
August 19, 2020
August 13, 2020
Today the NSIC announced the cancellation of fall competition and championships; suspending all sports competition through December 31. View the full story here.
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.
View the return to campus guide.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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.
Dr. Brett Bradfield
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.
Dr. Brett Bradfield
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.
Dr. Brett Bradfield
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.
Dr. Brett Bradfield
University of Sioux Falls
Campus COVID Dashboard
Face Coverings and COVID-19 Safety Measures Updated April 22, 2021
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. 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.
Anytime someone is in a campus building, at a USF sponsored event or in classrooms, 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.
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.
Anytime someone is outdoors USF recommends, rather than requires the person to wear a mask if you are still able to socially distance. With this change of mask-wearing outdoors, we still highly recommend you continue to observe a 6-foot social distance and limit your time around others (less than 15 minutes) as much as possible if you are without a mask.
- Stay at least six feet apart from people who don't live with you
- Limit your time around others
- Bring a mask with you when outdoors to put on when you encounter people who may get closer than six feet
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.
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.
Any student wishing to request an alternative to the face-covering/mask policy should email the Academic Success Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any employee wishing to request an alternative to the face-covering/mask policy should email Human Resources at USFHR@usiouxfalls.edu
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.
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.email@example.com
- 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.