Photo courtesy NMSU

NMSU system releases detailed plan for fall return to campus

New Mexico State University system leaders this week released a comprehensive plan for the university’s return to campus operations for the fall 2020 semester.

Prepared by the university’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team and titled “NMSU Ready,” the document outlines the steps the university will take to ensure a welcoming and functional campus environment when classes begin on Aug. 19.

NMSU Vice Chancellor and Chief COVID-19 Officer Ruth A. Johnston, who leads the Rapid Response Team, said the plan, while as thorough as possible right now, is not the final word on operations for the fall semester.

“This plan is a living document informed by our colleges and service units,” Johnston said in a memo to employees announcing the plan’s release, “and we know that updates will be needed as the knowledge about this disease advances and best practices evolve. In fact, we expect to hear from you about ways that it can be refined and improved.”

The NMSU Ready plan is also subject to changing guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico Department of Health, and NMSU experts, she said.

Topic areas covered in the plan include expectations for employees relating to in-person staffing levels and telework; modifications to classroom spaces and technology to allow for social distancing; details about available “flex” and “hybrid” instructional models; plans for health and safety modifications to housing and dining facilities; and many other areas. It also provides additional detail on cleaning and disinfection protocols, departmental supplies, face coverings and other personal protective equipment, and how to report and respond to a positive test for COVID-19.

The complete plan document can be found online, where additional details and an archive of communications to the campus community are also posted.

Johnston and NMSU President John Floros will host an online town hall session at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 18, via Zoom to answer questions about the NMSU Ready plan and campus operations.

Links to access the session on Zoom or Panopto, as well as to submit questions in advance of the town hall, can be found via this link.

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU


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