Health & Prevention

Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Think you've been exposed? Contact your health care provider.

Avera Clinic: 605-697-9500
Sanford Clinic: 605-697-1900

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccinations are an important tool to help stop the pandemic. They provide a safer way to immunity by avoiding severe risks and complications created by the COVID-19 virus. Combining the vaccine with other safety measures, including mask wearing, social distancing and frequent hand washing, provides the best opportunity for stopping the pandemic.

Visit the Brookings Health System website ( for the latest information. NOTE: this is an evolving situation and changes are being implemented immediately as needed.

Vaccine FAQs

The CDC has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine including questions related to:

Avoid Scams & Schemes

Be aware of COVID-19 vaccine fraud scams and schemes. Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams. Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources. 


  • You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
  • You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
  • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
  • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.

Stop the Spread of COVID-19

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask / face covering.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Wearing a mask helps to protect others in our community. Here are some tips on wearing a mask. 

Brookings Health Care

Our local health care teams are the best source for health-related information and available care in Brookings, South Dakota. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Teams are working closely with state and local health officials to continue to provide the public with the most current COVID-19 information.

Self-Care & Treatment at Home for COVID-19

When you are sick with COVID-19, it’s important you remain at home and isolate yourself from other household members and pets. Current treatment is supportive care aimed at helping your body while it fights the virus. Brookings Health System has tips for self care and treatment at home.

Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Triage Chart for the Brookings Community

Help our local health teams care for our community. Before you ask for help for COVID-19, triage yourself. Stop and think which category you fall in.


If you have questions about COVID-19 and no symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), please call the South Dakota Department of Health hotline, 1-800-997-2880.


If you have mild symptoms and are stable, call your primary care provider FIRST to determine if you’re eligible for either influenza or COVID-19 outpatient testing. For the Avera Clinic, please call 605-697-9500. For the Sanford Clinic, please call (605) 697-1900.

Seek care immediately if you have symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) and fall in to one of these categories:

  • 65+ years old
  • Under 5 years old
  • Pregnant
  • Have a chronic medical condition like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or other immune compromising condition

If you do not fall into the above categories, seek medical attention if your illness is worsening, including:

  • A fever of 100.4°F or greater
  • Difficulty breathing

STAY AT HOME except to receive medical care.


If you have severe symptoms, seek immediate medical attention at Brookings Hospital’s Emergency Department. Call Brookings Hospital at (605) 696-9000 FIRST before arriving. Severe symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Are you ready if you receive a positive COVID-19 test? Make your Household Game Plan.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The City of Brookings is following the recommendations and guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Check out the information and resources available to you.

Additional Medical & Health Resources

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Spread Knowledge, Not Germs

If you do receive a positive COVID-19 test, let your close contacts know they may have been exposed. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.

Mental Health & Self-Care

Pandemics are stressful. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger.

Signs of Stress

  • Fear and worry of health (yourself and others)
  • Concerns about financial/job security
  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Coping Skills

  • Take breaks from news coverage.
  • Take care of yourself: deep breaths, stretch, meditate, eat healthy, get enough sleep, exercise regularly.
  • Make time for activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others:; social distancing doesn't mean you can’t pick up the phone and call/text/message others.
  • Utilize local and national mental health services.

The Brookings Area Mental Health Guide can help you identify behavioral health resources. Start your search. 

Mental Health First Aid

Local Health Services

National Health Services

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Avera Behavioral Health Series


What is shame? Why do we feel shame? How has shame changed during COVID-19 experiences? How do we build shame resilience? Presentation delivered by Nikki Eining, Outpatient Mental Health Therapist and MSW CSW-PIP QMHP.

Video Recording Link:

Passcode: NZ.6h5^?

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Support: 1-800-273-8255

The Helpline Center is South Dakota’s leader in suicide prevention and response. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts call 1-800-273-8255 anytime, day or night. All South Dakotans have access to the crisis line all day, every day. The service is free and confidential.


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COVID-19 questions or concerns? Connect with us directly using Engage Brookings. Visit the website ( or download the app on your mobile device.

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