By New Mexico State University
As of today, March 13, 2020, students, faculty and staff were sent an email communication that announced that Spring Break will commence early beginning Monday, March 16. We know that with this announcement there are likely numerous questions that parents, family members, and students will have regarding a number of things. As such we are providing a brief synopsis of NMSU’s efforts to address the COVID-19 situation.
As New Mexico State University continues to closely watch the spread of the coronavirus across the world, we want to assure you that the health and safety of our students is our highest priority. New Mexico State has activated its emergency operations plan and convened its response team to coordinate preparedness and response activities. Members of the team are closely monitoring the situation, relying on local, state and federal health officials.
As we carefully track the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Levels 1, 2, and 3 risk assessment and the New Mexico Department of Health for COVID-19, we are now implementing guidelines and measures across the NMSU system to address international and domestic travel, campus residence living and dining options, and event plans.
We are committed to keeping our campus community healthy and safe. Should you have additional questions that are not answered in this document, please see the NMSU website dedicated to maintaining up-to-date information about the COVID-19 situation (https://wellness.nmsu.edu/).
ON CAMPUS HOUSING & DINING SERVICES
- Student Housing and Dining Services remain OPEN and will continue to operate normally.
- Students who wish to remain in their on-campus rooms and/or apartments through Spring Break may do that and are not expected to leave campus.
- Residence Life has increased the frequency of surface cleaning: specifically handrails, elevator buttons, and door handles are being disinfected regularly.
- Hand sanitizer is being provided in public spaces.
- Students have been notified and are regularly reminded about special hygiene and virus prevention strategies in their residence halls/apartments that will prevent the spread of viruses (including the flu). Specific strategies can be found at this CDC link.
- Specific plans have been created related to students who need to be isolated and may require meal delivery. Residence Life staff will be handling each case uniquely. Students should contact their resident directors for more information.
AGGIE HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER
- The Aggie Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) is open and available to all students, providing comprehensive medical and psychological services.
- Students need to report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to the AHWC or their medical provider – preferably by CALLING FIRST to get advice and instructions. NMSU students may call (575) 646-1512. Medical staff are on-call to triage calls to assess symptoms and determine if an individual should be seen by a physician or self-isolate.
- Students who are not feeling well should monitor themselves for symptoms at least daily including measuring their temperature. Any symptoms of COVID-19 should be reported to the AHWC or a primary care physician by telephone.
- Students who feel sick should stay home or in their residence hall room and should self-isolate to avoid contact with others.
- SELF-ISOLATION MEANS:
- Staying in your room, apartment, or house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 3 country.
- Limit contact with other people as much as possible. This also means limiting close contact with others including persons living in your residence.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
- Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
- Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant wipe. Wash your hands after cleaning
CAMPUS EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
- Older students (60 and over) and those that have pre-existing medical concerns such as asthma, diabetes, immune deficiencies, lung disease, heart disease, or long-term health problems are asked to remain at home or residence hall and take extra precautions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
- Numerous large scale campus events have been cancelled or are being postponed. Check the NMSU Insider Facebook page for more information.
- A determination will be made in the coming weeks about commencement ceremonies and other end of semester events.
- Until further notice, student gatherings on campus will be limited to less than 50 participants. Non-NMSU students (community members) will NOT be allowed to join in-person meetings on campus, nor should any participants who have traveled from other states or countries (via commercial carriers).
- Future campus community meetings, activities, or events involving 100 individuals or more will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will be restricted to NMSU students, faculty or staff.
- University departments and student organizations are being encouraged to evaluate currently scheduled meeting facilities to ensure they are configured for appropriate social distancing.
STUDENT TRAVEL INFORMATION:
- All official University international travel has been restricted. This restriction includes all students, faculty, and staff travel that is sponsored by or associated with NMSU or a NMSU chartered student organization.
- All official University out-of-state domestic travel via commercial carrier (air, bus, or train) is cancelled or postponed. Travel via personal vehicle is not restricted.
- The University highly suggests that all students consider the risks associated with personal domestic travel especially out-of-state and international. Should students choose to leave the state, because of the fluid nature of this situation, they need to recognize that they may not be able to come back to campus – especially if they return from areas where there has been a significant incidence of COVID-19.
- Study Abroad students have been sent correspondence (Mar 12 2020) in response to the U.S. State Department’s issuance of a Level 3 Global Travel Advisory. This advisory requires that students studying abroad must return to United States. Questions regarding your return trip arrangements and academic coursework options should be directed to the NMSU Office of Education Abroad.
- Anyone who has traveled out of state (excluding typical trips to El Paso) in the last 14 days are being asked to register their travel on the University travel reporting portal. Anyone returning from international travel or those who have traveled via commercial carrier must self-isolate for 14 days.
- Students who are not leaving campus for spring break may continue to work their normal work hours or may choose to pick-up extra hours as per direction from their supervisors.
CAMPUS ADMISSIONS & VISITOR TOURS
- Admissions will be operating normally during this spring break period.
- Visiting groups will be hosted in larger facilities on-campus that allow for social distancing and outdoor tours will continue.