NMSU announces campus will reopen Monday, COVID-19 response team assembled


Shane Buchanan

NMSU announced Friday main campus will reopen to the community Monday, June 1.

New Mexico State University announced this week that they’re prepared for the next phase- assembling a COVID-19 Rapid Response team and reopening the Las Cruces campus to the community beginning Monday. 

President John Floros announced the university’s reopening in an email sent to the NMSU community Friday afternoon, though details of capacity or restrictions were not stated. 

At NMSU, research efforts are re-engaging, and on Monday, we will open the Las Cruces campus grounds back up to the community. We can do these things because we are learning how to live with this virus, and we are ready for the next steps,” Floros said in the email. 

Floros also said the New Mexico Department of Health tested 641 people at NMSU between the last two weeks. 

“The people tested did not have symptoms of COVID-19. Although this week’s test results are pending, we learned that about 4 percent of the first 371 people were actively infected with the coronavirus, all of them asymptomatic,” Floros wrote. 

COVID-19 Rapid Response Team

On Wednesday, New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu and President Floros announced the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team to prepare for the upcoming academic year.

According to an email sent to the NMSU community Wednesday, the team will prepare solutions to situations surrounding teaching and learning, student services and residential life such as housing and dining. 

“[The team] will address modifications needed for classrooms, research, human resource practices, safety protocols, and business operations,” the letter read.  “They will communicate regularly with the NMSU community to ensure you are up to date regarding our progress.”

The COVID-19 Rapid response team will be led by Ruth Johnson, vice chancellor and strategic chief financial officer. The email acclaims Johnson for her attention to details and her vision of the big picture. 

The email said being prepared for the fall semester is the university’s highest priority.

“Colleges and administrative units have already developed plans for a careful, phased return to campus that will culminate in August with the start of the academic term,” the letter said. “These plans allow some employees to continue to work from home and describe ways to reduce exposure to the coronavirus for people who will work from campus. 

“We are currently reviewing these plans, and those that deal with more complex situations will be referred to experts for additional review.”

The university says they will continue following the guidance of the state’s department of health and the Centers for Disease Control during the upcoming 2020-2021 year. 

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