As we reach the midpoint of the semester, I want to thank you for the many ways you have supported our students and each other. I am sure you are welcoming the arrival of spring break and a well-deserved chance to rest.
Circumstances around COVID-19 continue to evolve rapidly. I am pleased to report that higher education is now included as a priority vaccination group. A recent notice from the New Mexico Higher Education Department announced that higher education employees who registered for a COVID-19 vaccine prior to March 4 will be included in the rollout of vaccines to educators (K-12 and early childhood educators scheduled between now and March 22). Those who register after March 4 will receive vaccines at a later date per Phase 1B guidance, or as determined by individual eligibility factors. Many faculty and staff have reported that they have received appointments soon after completing or updating their online registration.
If you have not already signed up for or received your vaccination, I strongly urge you to register with the New Mexico Department of Health. If you registered previously, please update your registration profile to reflect your employment in “Higher Education.”Twenty-five percent of New Mexicans have now received at least one shot, according to the NMDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.
As you are aware, the college’s COVID Task Force meets frequently to discuss any changes in protocols. Classes and services will continue to be offered primarily online through the remainder of the semester. As we prepare for the summer term, we will add some face-to-face classes to the schedule while ensuring maximum safety and adhering to the guidelines established by the New Mexico Department of Health and the CDC. Our protocols remain the same: Everybody must wear a mask while on campus at all times and will be screened upon arrival. On-campus capacity remains limited to 25 percent. In addition, the college currently discourages all travel.
I will continue to keep you updated.
It has been a year since the pandemic changed our college community and our lives. I am proud of and grateful to you for how you have adapted, keeping the focus on our students. I know it hasn’t been easy. Thank you for all that you do. Enjoy your spring break.
Becky Rowley, Ph.D.