VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota is taking new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by sharing self-reported, real-time data about the number of positive COVID-19 tests for students, faculty and staff.
Effective today, USD will post data reported by individuals to the COVID-19 Case Management Team and include four elements of data on the USD COVID-19 website. Data will be updated as cases are reported.
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 with any community where large groups are gathering daily, we knew USD would not be immune to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases on campus,” said Kevin O’Kelley, assistant vice president of research compliance and the head of USD’s COVID-19 Case Management Team. “Our team has been preparing for this for months, and USD has committed significant resources preparing not only for the quarantine and isolation needs of our student population, but also to provide the necessary support to students who test positive so they can still succeed academically. We know that quarantining helps curb the spread of COVID-19, and we are impressed to see the number of students rising to the occasion to protect the pack by closely monitoring symptoms and quarantining if they feel ill or have been exposed."
The information-sharing will protect the privacy of students, faculty and staff while providing transparency to those seeking additional information about the rate of transmissions for COVID-19 in the USD community.
USD continues to be in close contact with the South Dakota Department of Health and city and county officials to take appropriate and effective measures in response to COVID-19.
“Our highest priority is the safety of our campus community as well as the larger Vermillion community,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “This data can provide students, faculty and staff with the information they need to make decisions regarding their health. I am so grateful to everyone who has taken great strides to keep our community safe.”