Northern expects to shift back to normal operations for fall 2021

ABERDEEN, S.D. – After a year of adapting to changes due to COVID-19, Northern State University is planning a shift back to more normal operations for the fall 2021 semester.

The South Dakota Board of Regents made this announcement Monday for the six BOR universities and two special schools, citing success in vaccine distribution and local efforts to manage and keep positive infection rates low.

This means a BOR mask mandate for the fall 2021 semester is unlikely, and classrooms will return to a more normal occupancy rate. Campus leadership will continue to monitor circumstances as the pandemic evolves. Additional details for Northern’s return to normal this fall will be announced in the upcoming weeks and months.

Until then, campus maintains all precautions through spring semester, including the mask protocol, reduced classroom capacities and HyFlex learning options. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to continue making responsible decisions, including social distancing, proper hand washing, and getting vaccinated when they are able. More information can be found on the Department of Health website.

NSU President Dr. Tim Downs said although campus must remain vigilant, the finish line is in sight.

“This past year has been challenging, but it has shown how the Northern community can come together to adjust and persevere during difficult times,” Downs said. “I’m extremely proud, and I want to thank everyone on campus, as well as local, regional and state officials, for their hard work and resilience.”