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Dear Campus Community,

Yesterday, the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) announced it would post weekly, aggregated COVID-19 positive case information for higher education and K-12. This information will be updated, based on DOH positive case reports, every Monday by noon.

Many in our campus community have expressed a desire to view real-time data about the number of positive COVID-19 tests for students, faculty and staff. Our highest priority is the safety of our campus community as well as our larger Vermillion community, and we want to provide you with the information you need to make wise decisions regarding your health. This information-sharing continues to protect the privacy of our campus constituents while providing transparency to those seeking additional information about the rate of transmission for COVID-19 in our community.

Effective today, the University of South Dakota will share real-time data and include four elements of data. This data can be found on the USD COVID-19 website and will be updated as frequently as possible. It is important to emphasize that because some out-of-town students are initially recorded as being from their permanent residences, the USD data may not always align daily with the number of cases reported on the DOH website. Accurate documentation on the DOH website may take a few days.

The four categories of self-reported data include:

  • Total number of current (active) self-reported USD faculty, staff and student positive COVID-19 cases
  • Total number of current (active) self-reported USD faculty/staff positive COVID-19 cases
  • Total number of current (active) self-reported USD student positive COVID-19 cases
  • Total number of currently quarantined and isolated USD faculty, staff and students (this includes students who may live off-campus or who have returned home to their permanent residences)

As a reminder, quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Isolation separates sick people from people who are not sick. As of today, a large majority of USD’s population represented in the comprehensive quarantine and isolation number above are those who are quarantined; that is, individuals who are not sick but who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are monitoring their health.

USD will make every effort to update these numbers immediately as they are reported to the COVID-19 Case Management Team. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this truly unprecedented and complex situation as a team. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to COVID19@usd.edu.

-COVID-19 Task Force