Dear students, faculty and staff,
As you may be aware, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health announced today that three New Mexico residents tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed cases in the state.
Additionally, the governor issued a public health emergency declaration and announced new restrictions and recommendations related to travel and large public gatherings.
The New Mexico State University system has a comprehensive plan in place to proactively address the potential outbreak of a communicable disease like COVID-19, and we have been closely monitoring developments in this rapidly evolving situation. Visit our COVID-19 website for the latest information as it becomes available.
At this time, the NMDOH and the NM Higher Education Department are not advising any college or university campuses to close. The NMSU system will remain open, and will continue to monitor and respond to recommendations from state and federal officials. There is no reason for faculty to cancel classes at this time due to COVID-19 concerns. As always, our faculty should talk with their department heads if the need arises to cancel a class session for any reason.
All employees should continue to take responsibility for enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of their working areas. Our custodial staff is working hard to emphasize sanitation of high contact surfaces, and keyboards in all of our computer labs are being regularly sanitized.
There is no need at this time to initiate telework protocols, but campus organizations should consider moving meetings to a larger room to allow for social distancing. Decisions about events scheduled within the campus community will continue to be managed at the local level. More guidance on this will be available soon on our COVID-19 website.
In accordance with the recommendations of the NMDOH and the Office of the Governor, the NMSU system is restricting all official international travel effective immediately through April 15, at which time this restriction will be reassessed. Mission-essential exceptions to this rule can be considered by community college presidents, academic deans or vice presidents on a case-by-case basis.
I am also directing employees and students to cancel or postpone any university-related non-essential out-of-state domestic travel, though driving by vehicle is not restricted at this time. I encourage everyone to consider the risks of personal international travel and consider canceling or postponing planned trips. If you do plan to travel internationally, or if you have traveled in the last 14 days, please visit https://webcomm.nmsu.edu/coronavirus/ and complete the travel form.
Our mission as a university starts with our students, and support is available to all of our students and their families throughout the NMSU system. The most important thing we can do to protect our NMSU community is to keep taking the precautions we know will reduce our risk, including:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with regular household cleaners
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Avoid large public gatherings
- Avoid non-essential travel to affected areas
- Remain home if you are sick
We’ll continue to keep you informed as this situation develops. Our Aggie Health & Wellness Center website has a page dedicated to sharing information and resources about COVID-19, including the latest recommendations from the NMDOH and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.