Emergency preparedness at NMSU

This week has been a busy one. In addition to the usual collection of classes, seminars, performances, athletic events, meetings and other happenings, many people on campus have been reviewing advice by government agencies and adjusting business-as-usual practices to make certain that we are as prepared as we can be in the event NMSU is affected by an outbreak of COVID-19.

For many years, NMSU, like most universities, has had a plan in place to address an outbreak of a communicable disease. Our plan is revised regularly, and it is organized in levels to accommodate various and differing conditions. This week, thanks to the coronavirus, we had the opportunity to take that plan for a test run. This means that we assessed the situation and made some decisions, especially around communication and the prevention of COVID-19.

Epidemics come in stages, and we are fortunate that one of our chief priorities now is to take simple, common-sense prevention measures. These were distributed Wednesday in an email. Also, our staff has increased the frequency of cleaning of high-touch surfaces, including reception counters, door handles, exit devices and handrails, to their regular routines.

Another top priority is communication. Our Aggie Health and Wellness Center is hosting the primary coronavirus webpage, which is being updated regularly with the latest information. Additional communications appeared in NMSU Hotline and our News Center. As conditions change, we will keep you informed.

None of us can know what turn the coronavirus will take, but we are monitoring the situation closely. We are in constant contact with health authorities from the New Mexico Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. We have plans in place, and we will remain vigilant regarding the health and safety of our campus.

Finally, what should you do? Keep calm and take steps to protect yourself and others. Although there is no need to panic, it is wise to be informed and to prepare. I welcome your comments at President.Floros@nmsu.edu.

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