When it comes to COVID-19, SDSU turns to blue

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As COVID-19 cases become less common in South Dakota, South Dakota State University is relaxing the rules.

“As we look towards the fall semester and the rest of our summer, that does mean that we are really back to our normal operations and our programming,” said Michaela Willis, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management with the school.

Last August, masks were a big topic on this and other campuses.

“If people don’t use them, I feel like we might not be able to finish the school year,” then-SDSU freshman Riley Ketcham said last August.

But on Monday mask requirements are gone as the safety level on campus has dropped from yellow to blue.

“We look at many different metrics as we’re determining what pandemic color we will operate in, and a big part of that is community spread, impact on our university community and so, and also hospital capacity, so all of those things are looking really great,” Willis said.

As students return to campus, they’ll notice social distancing is no longer required and sporting events will go back to full capacity. Willis says some COVID-19 lessons can remain, however.

“So, we’ll still have drop-and-go for our students to move in belongings early if they want to get a jump start on that,” Willis said. “And we will still, we’ve learned a lot through our virtual technology, and we’ll still be able to utilize Zoom and different things to expand access to our educational programs and offerings.”

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