March 4, 2020 – Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Spring Break Travel
To Our students, faculty, and staff,
We are writing today to call your attention to the widening COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and its growing potential to disrupt international travel during NMSU’s Spring Break, March 23-27, 2020.
In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have raised travel advisory levels and issued various alerts for several countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.
If you are considering international travel this spring, NMSU is encouraging you to monitor travel advisories due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Faculty and staff must continue to obtain approval through the Office of the Provost for all professional travel outside of U.S. International students and students traveling outside of the U.S. may contact the Aggie Health & Wellness Center for travel advisories and recommendations.
Depending on your destination, you may have to make difficult decisions to change or even cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and return to classes at NMSU. In many countries, there may be new entry and exit control measures, and even quarantines implemented with very little notice during the coming weeks. These actions could severely impact your plans and/or delay your return home at personal cost.
As this situation is likely to continue to change rapidly in the weeks ahead, we highly encourage you to check both U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control websites to find the most up-to-date guidance for your destination as well as for those countries you may plan to transit.
Any travel during flu season does present greater risk, so be sure to take proper precautions. The CDC recommends practicing hand hygiene and other preventive measures:
- Avoid close contact with people who appear sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your cough and/or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Stay home when you are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or sanitizing wipes
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
This is also the high season for colds and flu, so employees who are sick should stay home and not report to work and should avoid contact with others. If employees have any concerns about COVID19, advise them to contact their doctor for evaluation. Employees who have been sick with any communicable disease should be fully recovered before returning to work.
We encourage you to reach out to the following resources NMSU for assistance if you have any questions.
- International Student & Scholar Services- (575) 646-2834
- Dean of Students Office- (575) 646-1722
- Aggie Health & Wellness Center (575) 646-1512
- Human Resource Services (575) 646-8000
NMSU will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments both at home and abroad and keep you up to date. Information on COVID-19, frequently asked questions and NMSU guidance is available on Aggie Health & Wellness web at https://wellness.nmsu.edu/coronavirus-2019-ncov/ . At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at NMSU or in New Mexico. Our thoughts are with students, faculty, and staff who have ties to all of the regions affected by this situation.
Lori McKee, MBA
Executive Director of Health & Wellness
New Mexico State University
Katrina Doolittle, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Environmental Heath Safety & Risk Management
New Mexico State University