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USD Launches 'Know Before You Go' Campaign to Promote COVID-19 Testing

Graphic that says Know Before You Go - Protect Your Family This Holiday Season. USD launched the "Know Before You Go" campaign to encourage students to get testing for COVID-19 prior to the winter break.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota has launched a “Know Before You Go” campaign encouraging students to get tested for COVID-19 prior to the winter break.

With funding from the South Dakota Department of Health, USD offers free COVID-19 testing to students, faculty and staff through the USD Sentinel Testing program. The program has supported testing for up to 100 asymptomatic volunteers each week and is now greatly increasing the number of tests available to the USD community.

As the winter break approaches, USD is promoting this testing option as a way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the holidays. The “Know Before You Go” campaign emphasizes that students can help protect the health and safety of their friends, family and community members by getting tested and isolating if their tests return positive.

“We understand that students want to spend the holidays with their families, and we want them to be as safe as possible when they do so,” said Tim Ridgway, M.D., vice president for health affairs and dean of the Sanford School of Medicine. “Getting tested prior to the winter break is an important step students can take to assess their health and make more informed decisions about their holiday plans. We want to protect our friends and family, and this is one of the best ways to do that.”

USD is also asking students to continue taking safety precautions – such as wearing face coverings when around others – and avoid social gatherings that could put them at risk in the weeks leading up to the winter break.

Drive-thru testing through the USD Sentinel Testing program is available from 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in November. Students, faculty and staff interested in getting tested should report to Sanford Vermillion drive-thru testing at the white tent on Jane Street. Additional opportunities to get tested in the area are now available, as well. Hy-Vee offers testing by appointment. In addition, there will be drive-thru mass testing events in Yankton and other cities across the state; visit for more information. 

Visit for more information.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News