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Last Updated January 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to campus.

USD highly encourages faculty, staff and students to download USD Safe, its campus safety app, before their return to campus. USD is in the process of adding new features to the app, including regular self-screening assessments for COVID-19. USD Safe can be downloaded via the Google Play or Apple app stores.

University guidelines include:

1. Enhanced Hygiene and Health Practices

All CDC-recommended guidelines for enhanced hygiene will be expected of all employees. These include:

  • Frequent hand washing. (Soap and water are the best defense against coronavirus! Sanitize or wash your hands before and after touching surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, copiers, etc.)
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette. (Be considerate of others.)
  • Avoid handshaking and elbow bumping. (Nod. Wave. Yote hand sign!)
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay at home if sick (with any illness.)
  • Stay at home if you are exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. Employees exhibiting common symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately asked to leave the premises. Persons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms may be asked to provide medical clearance to return to work.

It is highly encouraged that all employees receive the annual flu shot. This protective vaccination is provided to all employees free of charge, and work time may be used.

2. Physical Distancing

Workspaces should allow employees to maintain 6’ of separation from colleagues, students and office visitors. When this is not possible, other means of protection should be implemented. These might include such things as plexiglass barriers, stanchions, signs, etc.

In-person meetings should be avoided if possible. The use of telephones and video conference application should always be the first option considered. If in-person meetings are essential, ensure 6’ separation is possible, wear face coverings, clean conference tables, and/or implement other protective measures.

Breakrooms and small conference rooms that do not allow for physical distancing and should be closed and/or not used.

3. Shared Equipment and Supplies

As a rule, equipment for personal use such as phones, staplers, pens, keyboards, etc. will not be shared between employees. Fully upholstered chairs used by multiple persons should be removed or tagged out-of-use.

In some cases, a unit may decide to do additional cleaning of certain shared equipment. The plan for this should be included in the department return-to-campus plan, including identification of the person responsible, and what cleaning supplies should be used and where the cleaning supplies will be obtained and stored.

Departments should consider if common refrigerators and coffee pots should be used. If yes, be certain to post signs regarding washing/sanitizing hands. Additionally, food should not be consumed in common areas and candy dishes should be removed.

4. Face Coverings

Cloth face coverings prevent the spread of coronavirus. They are not intended as protection for the person wearing the mask, but rather as protection of others. Respect and consideration for others provide the impetus for cloth face coverings.

The use of cloth face coverings is required for all employees when entering public spaces or when meeting with colleagues. (Do not use N-95 masks for this purpose, as they should be reserved for health care professionals.) The care and cleanliness of personal face coverings is the responsibility of each employee.

5. Cleaning and Disinfection

Custodial staff clean and disinfect campus restrooms at least one time per workday. This process includes but is not limited to removing trash and debris, restocking supplies, and disinfecting surfaces and fixtures.

The responsibility for cleaning individual workstations lies with each individual employee. 

The responsibility for cleaning common work surfaces (countertops, conference tables, etc.) should be defined in department plans.

6. Visitors

Visits to other work areas should be kept to an absolute minimum. Consider calling, e-mailing or hosting a videoconference. Visitors are required to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces. 

Each department should include visitor protocol in department-specific plans. Consider these options:

  • Posting a sign requesting that visitors call a specific phone number rather than enter an office. 
  • Installing plexiglass shields at reception desks.
  • Installing stanchions and ropes to form a defined queue.
  • Putting in floor markers at 6’ intervals

7. Customer Service

If providing customer service or support to others, departments will develop a specific plan to maintain social distancing and other enhanced hygiene practices.

Consider factors such as:

  • Speaking to another person in close proximity 
  • Physically touching a different person’s computer, equipment, tools, etc. (e.g., use of gloves, pre-cleaning, handwashing after handling, etc.)
  • Entering a different department’s workspace
  • Traveling in a shared vehicle
  • Stanchions & floor markings
 Thank you for your continued dedication to keeping USD safe. We look forward to your return to campus. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources at

- COVID-19 Task Force