SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s six public universities will no longer require people to wear masks beginning next week.
The state Board of Regents last July mandated that masks be worn in all public indoor spaces on campuses, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic showed steep growth in South Dakota and other Midwest states.
At the suggestion of college presidents, facemasks will be optional starting on Monday. Regents executive director and CEO Brian Maher says administrators will continue to monitor conditions and make “the best decisions possible” with information available to them.
At South Dakota State University, President Barry Dunn says they continue to monitor all the key public health indicators to ensure the safety of everyone. Dunn says, “the availability of vaccines and the reduced number of cases in the region make this move possible. It is the first step in our planning efforts to open our campus for a more inclusive and exciting 2021-22 academic year.”
Regents announced earlier that campus operations should return to normal in the fall.