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We know you are excited to see your families soon, and we hope you will be as careful as you can when doing so. Here are some recommendations for how to protect yourself, your family and your community this holiday season:

  • Cease all social activity for 14 days before going home for the holidays. We ask you to view the remainder of the semester as a quiet time on campus; avoid social gatherings that could put you at risk, and be vigilant about wearing face coverings.
  • “Know Before You Go” by getting tested for COVID-19 before the winter break. Getting tested is an important step you can take to assess your health and prioritize the safety of others. USD offers free drive-thru testing to all USD students, faculty and staff from 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and additional testing opportunities are available, as well. Visit for more information.
  • Avoid travel as much as possible, and do not visit friends, restaurants or extended family members. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself, your friends, your family and your community.
  • Each household is a unit, but extended family is not. Avoid combining different households unless you can do so outside with proper distance. If you must visit indoors, wear face coverings and practice physical distancing.
  • When at home with immediate family, consider the following adjustments:
    • Have one person serve the food for everyone to avoid sharing utensils.
    • Limit the number of people going in and out of areas where food is being prepared.
    • Avoid singing, chanting and shouting.
  • If any household members are at an increased risk of severe illness, they should not be in a room with members of a different household, or even with returning students for the first 14 days.
  • We ask you to be particularly careful to self-quarantine at home beginning on January 1. By diligently following safety measures in the days leading up to your return to campus, you can help us have a safe start to the spring semester.

You can find further guidance by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Familiarizing yourself with these considerations and making safe decisions are critical in our efforts to #ProtectThePack and protect our families.