South Dakota college prepares for Coronavirus


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — While there are no coronavirus cases in South Dakota yet, state officials are still preparing for when the virus spreads.

The university has an emergency management plan and an emergency management team that meets and trains regularly to address situations such as a virus outbreak.

In the event that a virus outbreak takes place, the campus would follow the recommendations of the CDC and state health officials.

“If it came to the school of Mines I feel like it would spread really easily around classrooms especially so I mean really we would probably have a big problem,” Brinson said

Students, including Annie Brinson and Kaitlyn Dickenson, say it’s important to not panic, but be prepared and take the situation seriously.

“If you just toss it aside and think it’s not a big thing than it becomes a matter of when but if you take it seriously and say, ‘it could happen and I need to be prepared for that, than it’s a case of if,” Dickinson said.

Dr. Elizabeth Racz is an epidemiologist who teaches at the School of Mines. She says people should be educated on what the virus is, how it spreads, and how it can be prevented.

“Right now these non-pharmaceutical interventions, or NPIs, are what are suggested for people to use to help protect themselves,” Dr. Elizabeth Racz said.

Like not touching your face, covering your mouth, and washing your hands properly with soap.

“Here at the School of Mines, I do not penalize my students if they have a fever and they need to not come to class. Sometimes we will do hybrid teaching in our classes where we will do online assignments and in person. I think we can be flexible by keeping our students safe and educated,” Dr. Racz said.

Experts also urge people to get information about the virus from reliable sources such as the CDC or World Health Organization. For everything you need to know about the coronavirus, head to the special, interactive page we’ve set up.

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