Sixty University of South Dakota students have an active COVID-19 case, and more than 300 others are self-quarantining, according to information the school released Tuesday afternoon.
The information is part of a real-time dashboard that was released days after the university notified students that it would not be releasing specific case numbers to them.
USD, which began classes Aug. 19, is following the Board of Regents’ move to publicize COVID-19 data for each of its six public universities and two schools for the deaf and blind, according to executive director Brian Maher.
The state health department announced Monday it would only release data on COVID-19 infections on a weekly basis at an aggregate, statewide level for South Dakota’s colleges.
The dashboard USD released Tuesday shows the number of active cases among employees and students, and the number of students and staff in quarantine. It does not show the total number of cases over time, only current infections.
By the time of publication Tuesday afternoon, the dashboard showed one employee and 60 students have active COVID-19 infections and 331 staff and students were in quarantine.
DOH data as recent as Monday showed that 71 cases have been found in the state’s technical schools, colleges and universities, with 64 among students and seven among staff members.
Before Tuesday, USD was not releasing case counts to students, staff or faculty.
On Friday, USD’s COVID-19 task force sent an email to students only stating that “as we anticipated, USD is beginning to see positive COVID-19 cases reported on campus,” but it did not give a specific number of cases.
The Journal obtained the email through a student contact and sent emails to USD’s media relations team, the Board of Regents, the DOH and called Sanford Health in Vermillion seeking clarity on the issue on Monday and Tuesday.
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