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The University of South Dakota requires face coverings in all public indoor spaces on campus. Face coverings may include a mask, bandana, shield or any other covering that covers the mouth and nose.

This protocol, which applies to students, faculty, staff and visitors, is part of a tiered approach to face covering requirements adopted by the SDBOR for the state's six public universities.

For more information about USD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to read USD’s Case Management plan, visit

Exceptions to the Face Covering Policy

  • When alone in a private office or enclosed study area. Employees in cubicles, partitioned workspaces or open workspaces where 6’ of physical distancing is possible are not required to wear face coverings.
  • When inside campus residence hall rooms or apartments; however, face coverings are still required in common areas such as hallways, common restrooms and when visiting other rooms;
  • Individuals exercising, training or practicing in Wellness Center and Intercollegiate Athletic facilities may remove the cloth face covering while under physical exertion or in other situations where wearing a mask compromises their safety and welfare. Individuals must still wear face coverings when not engaged in physical activity and when in locker rooms (excluding showers).
  • Persons engaged in other activities that make wearing a face-covering impractical, such as playing an instrument, singing, performing in a theater production (as directed by the department), eating and/or drinking;
  • In instances or spaces (such as welding labs, nursing labs, etc.) in which other requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) make it either impractical or unsafe to wear an additional face covering;
  • When alone in a state vehicle or utility vehicle; and
  • Children under the age of five and those who cannot physically remove a face covering without assistance, or those who have requested and received a necessary accommodation are not required to wear face coverings. All children between the ages of two and four, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Children under the ages of two should not wear a face covering.