University of South Dakota recommends students go virtual before Thanksgiving Original

VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — The University of South Dakota is recommending students go virtual the last 10 days before Thanksgiving.

USD President Sheila Gestring said it’s because students might want to consider self-quarantining before going to see family over the holidays.

“If a student feels they can be successful and they have a desire to self-quarantine before going home for the holidays, we wanted to empower students to have the ability to do that. The faculty were wonderful, staff were great, everyone felt like we could empower the students that were conscious of wanting to self-quarantine first,” Gestring said.

As far as the next semester, there won’t be any recommendation to isolate for 10 days after students return to campus. However, Gestring said they will closely watch what is happening throughout the state.

“We’ll certainly continue to monitor all that is going on around us, but we’ve learned. We had quite a spike at the beginning of the year, but what we’ve learned is that we can manage it with temporary measures, temporary quick changes. We can knock the virus back, and we’re able to manage it. I feel like we know a lot more going into the spring semester than we did in the fall semester,” Gestring said.

Students who presently have COVID-19 at the university, or are isolating because of a direct contact will still be provided food and all of the necessities for staying on campus.

“If a student is currently isolating or quarantining and that time extends into the break, they will absolutely continued to be served by the university. We have delivery services, we have volunteers that are picking up that food and delivering that food. So, if a student is in quarantine or isolation, even after the break, we will absolutely serve that student,” Gestring said.

But, if students would like to leave and isolate at home, Gestring said that is more than acceptable.

“They are certainly not forced to say, but they will have the ability to stay and we will not charge them extra for that either,” Gestring said.

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