School of Mines to no longer allow guests due to increase in reported COVID-19 cases

RAPID CITY, S.D. — South Dakota School of Mines announced on Wednesday that due to an updated COVID-19 guest policy, guests will no longer be authorized on campus.

According the SDSMT Housing Office, the school has updated their Residential COVID-19 Guest Policy to Level Four. This is due to an increase in self-reported cases of students needing to isolate and quarantine due to COVID-19.

During conversations with the South Dakota Department of Health, Environmental Health and Safety, and the Dean of Students, it was noted that a number of cases have been connected to residents, not displaying any symptoms, gathering with guests in private spaces in school halls.

The Level Four Policy will go into effect at 5:00 p.m. on September 9 and includes the following:

  • No guests are authorized.
  • Only students assigned to a specific apartment/suite/room may be in their assigned space.
  • Masks are not required within your assigned space.
  • Students within a building are considered a resident of their floor or wing and a guest in all other communities.
  • Visiting other communities to utilize kitchens, laundry rooms, and study spaces is allowed.
  • Common areas such as the first floor Placer lounge and the PC Commons is available for use to the residents of these spaces.

It is SDSMT’s intent to review self-reported cases, monitor the trends, and make decisions about the Guest Policy Level as needed. They will review Level Four each week and determine if they are able to return to a less restrictive level.

Current COVID-19 Face Mask Policies:

Situations when Face Covering are not required in the Residence Halls include:

  1. When alone in private offices such as the staff office.
  2. When inside residence hall rooms, suites, or apartments.
  3. When conducting personal hygiene (such as showering, brushing your teeth, and shaving), eating, and drinking.

Situations when Face Coverings are required in the Residence Halls include:

  1. When in (however briefly) common areas such as hallways, stairwells, community lounges, kitchens, study spaces, restrooms, and laundry facilities.
  2. When preparing to conduct personal hygiene, eating, and drinking.
  3. When directed by an Institutional Official to do so while performing an assigned responsibility (i.e., Facilities staff completing a work order in your private space).
  4. When traversing through areas mentioned above.

Situations when Face Coverings are encouraged in the Residence Halls include:

  1. When occupying a private space such as your residence hall room, suite, or apartment when your door is open.
  2. When communicating with someone through, in, or along a common area as discussed above (i.e., opening your door and talking to your neighbor with their door open).
Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News