USD talks COVID-19 safety before students return to campus


VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Classes don’t start until about two months from now, but that’s not stopping the University of South Dakota from focusing on COVID-19 safety right now. It’s implementing safety practices, and showing students how to prepare for their return to campus.

USD junior Marcus Destin has a few podcasts. It’s fitting for the communications major, because he loves to chat and be part of a community.

“When our semester got taken away from us, it was just me sitting in the house by myself,” Destin said.

The COVID-19 shutdown was rough, but Destin is looking forward to being back at USD come fall.

“When everybody comes back from their individual destinations back to campus, it’s more important than ever that all of us do our part to protect each other,” Destin said.

That’s why USD set up a task force of experts, following CDC guidelines, to implement some safety measures.

“We want, for sure, this semester to go well and the only way it’s going to go well is everybody takes responsibility,” Kim Grieve, Vice President for Student Services, said.

USD is encouraging everyone on campus to wear masks, putting in markers to show people where to stand for social distancing, looking at room capacity, increasing cleaning, among other things.

“It will be a new normal on campus, but we still plan on providing a really robust student experience when our students arrive,” Grieve said.

Move-in day has expanded to three days: August 14th, 15th, and 16th. Destin is ready, but says it’ll take every individual to make it safe for the community.

“I just want to make sure my fellow students are following the same precautions. The thing that’ll make me more excited about coming to campus is if I don’t have to worry about the safety of it all. If my fellow students are wearing masks; we have one chance to get this right,” Destin said.

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