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Las Cruces Area College Students Advised On Coronvirus Prevention Plans, Spring Break Travel

New Mexico State University is closely monitoring the situation involving the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following the guidance of the New Mexico Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the current risk of acquiring COVID-19 in the United States is very low, and NMDOH reports no confirmed cases in New Mexico, the university will follow these agencies’ recommendations as the situation evolves.

“This is the height of the cold and flu season here, so we are asking employees who are sick not to report to work and to avoid contact with others,” said Katrina Doolittle, executive director of NMSU’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety. “If employees have any concerns about COVID-19, we 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.”

In the meantime, NMSU has implemented its communicable disease prevention plan, which includes a webpage on the Aggie Health and Wellness Center site with information and actions to take to protect your health at https://wellness.nmsu.edu/coronavirus-2019-ncov/.

Lori McKee, NMSU executive director of Health and Wellness, sent a letter out to the NMSU system to update students, faculty and staff and keep them apprised of the constantly changing situation involving COVID-19.

“We have had a communicable disease prevention committee in place since 2009, during the H1N1 pandemic,” said McKee. “Our mitigation and planning strategies in that plan are well-suited to help us protect our community against coronavirus.”

Although the NMDOH has reported no cases of coronavirus in the state, all those seeking care at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center are being asked about recent travel and contact with persons with known COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is highly contagious,” said Dr. Judi Voelz, NMSU medical director. “First call your local health care provider to avoid exposing others to illness. If your symptoms are severe, your health care provider will be able to further direct you. Testing cannot be done at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center or your local urgent care clinics. It can only be done through coordination with the New Mexico Department of Health and the state laboratories.”

Because of COVID-19’s potential to disrupt international travel during NMSU’s upcoming Spring Break, March 23-27, international students and those traveling outside of the U.S. are urged to visit the Aggie Health and Wellness Center’s coronavirus page for updated information.

NMSU faculty have been asked to continue the process of obtaining approval through the provost’s office for all professional travel outside the country.

NMSU is actively working to plan and prepare for a potential outbreak by meeting with partners across the university, and coordinating with NMDOH and local hospitals.

Information from NMSU