Travel Considerations for the End of the Fall Semester

As we close out the in-person portion of the fall semester, it is important that we are all well informed regarding travel. Please review the following to best prepare before you leave campus and to be advised of the essential actions which will help you remain safe throughout the journey to your destination.

Travel is known to increase the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19; therefore, everyone should carefully review data on the prevalence of positive cases on campus, in our local community, and within your final destination. There are currently 15 states (Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont), the District of Columbia, and the City of Chicago that have restrictions on those traveling from South Dakota. If you plan to travel to one of these destinations, you should review the restrictions and what is required of you prior to departing and what you must do once you arrive.

Here are some helpful tips:

Prior to Travel
  • Get an influenza vaccination.
  • Review regulations governing travel to your destination.
  • Minimize risk of exposure and infection during the days/weeks leading to departure from campus.
  • Travelers who are ill, are infected, or have recently been exposed to the virus will not be allowed to board airplanes or trains.
  • Reduce the number of people with whom you have close contact prior to departing.
Day of Travel Advice for Students
  • Reduce the number of stops on the trip. Take a direct flight, and if driving, pack food/snacks for your vehicle.
  • Delay travel if you are experiencing any symptoms.
  • Take safety precautions throughout your travel — wear a face mask,  maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet when possible, carry and use hand sanitizer frequently, and wash your hands.
  • Use a disinfecting/sanitizing wipe to clean any touchable surfaces in your mode of transportation whether it be plane, train, car, bus, etc.
  • Re-check for any requirements or restrictions you may encounter as you travel and once you reach your destination.
  • The least risky option is private transportation by yourself or with your family members.
Arrival at Home/Break Destination
  • The most cautious approach upon arrival is to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Take the precautions of  wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance, and washing your hands often to help keep your family healthy.

Physical and Mental Health and Well-being While at Home

  • Reach out for help or guidance from your primary care provider or psychologist/mental health clinician if you are feeling sad, anxious, or hopeless or if you feel emotional distress of any kind.
  • Consult with your primary care provider if you develop any possible symptoms of COVID-19.

You can always check the following CDC websites for additional information on travel and safe ways to celebrate the holidays with family and friends:
Have a safe and healthy holiday.  We look forward to seeing you back on campus in January!