THe University of New Mexico today announced that it will extend its spring break through April 5 in an effort to reduce potential transmission of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Additional details on how this will affect faculty and staff are still being developed.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently declared a state public health emergency, including the closure of K-12 schools statewide through April 5.
"We will use this three-week period to plan and prepare for some of the changes this pandemic will necessitate, including the continued academic success of our students and the health of our entire university community," said Stokes in a video message. "Our strategy remains unchanged – to simultaneously do what we can as part of the national effort to flatten the curve of daily infections and reduce the burden on health care during this COVID-19 pandemic, while also recognizing that we must support our students to progress in their academic work."
UNM's senior leadership in the academic, operational and health sciences enterprises will formulate plans for these unusual circumstances, and to communicate them to their respective areas. This includes the concerns that the public school closures have generated for our employees.
"While we don’t have all of the answers today and the situation is very fluid, we will continue to communicate updates quickly," Stokes said.
The campus community is encouraged to keep checking the dedicated COVID-19 website for up-to-date information on decisions at UNM that could affect faculty, staff and students.
President Stokes reiterated in her message that clinical facilities are prepared to receive patients with COVID-19. However, concerned indivduals should first call the New Mexico Department of Health coronavirus hotline at 1-855-600-3453 before visiting a local health care clinic.
"So many UNM offices and individuals have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes over the past weeks to adapt our policies and operations to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Stokes said. "As Lobos, we protect and support the pack, applying creative problem solving to our greatest challenges."
For updates and to help stay informed, the campus community can visit the COVID-19 website.