USD Support Team Working to Support Those Impacted by COVID-19

USD Support Team Working to Support Those Impacted by COVID-19

As part of the university’s pandemic preparedness plan, campus contact tracers and a COVID-19 Support Team (CST) are working together to support students and employees impacted by COVID-19. They are doing this by facilitating a coordinated response to address people’s immediate needs and reduce the risk of community spread.

“We want our USD community to know that we have strong protocols in place to support those diagnosed with COVID-19 and to help mitigate the spread of the virus that align with our USD culture of care,” said Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Karen Briggs.

Recognizing that situations surrounding COVID-19 cases are highly unique and can overlap between students, faculty and staff, USD created the CST to help address the myriad of services needed, including coordination of residential services, academic accommodations (if needed), cleaning and sanitation needs and questions about pay or remote work while in isolation or quarantine.

The CST is made up of individuals who are skilled in being able to manage highly complex situations while maintaining a focused and compassionate demeanor. Working under the guidance of both Student Wellness and Human Resources, members include USD employees from the Athletics, Facilities, Human Resources, Student Affairs and University Operations.

When a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, they are contacted by a USD contact tracer who will provide guidance to self-isolate and gather detailed information, including information about who the individual had close contact with recently. Contact tracers then get in touch with USD close contacts and provide instruction to self-quarantine. The CST then takes over by following up with all impacted parties to offer additional information and support services based on their specific circumstances and needs. The CST will connect with each individual regularly until they are released from isolation or quarantine to continue individualized support..

“Each situation is unique and requires individual consideration,” explained Associate Vice President for Student Wellness Melissa Halter, “Navigating the COVID-19 public health emergency is a community responsibility. Please help us mitigate the spread through strong prevention strategies and know we will do our part to work with you on an individual basis, if you are personally impacted.”

If you or someone you know from campus has developed symptoms for or been diagnosed with COVID-19, you can contact the CST by emailing

Liz Harman

Contact Information