Coronavirus Update
College-related Travel Cancelled until further notice – President, March 10

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced this morning the first presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus in New Mexico. The Governor has announced an 11 a.m. press conference, which can be viewed on the Governor’s Facebook page.

“The state Department of Health has been preparing for this day for weeks now,” the Governor wrote on social media. “I will reiterate that New Mexicans can take preventative actions to protect themselves and mitigate the potential spread. We will address this public health challenge together.”

It is important we remain informed and educated on developments so we can best prepare and respond to changing circumstances.

News continues to evolve, additional sectors (including higher education) are being impacted, and concerns about contracting the illness are elevated. For that reason, effective immediately I am cancelling all College-related out-of-state and out-of-country travel until further notice. If you had travel planned, please work with the airlines and organizations to obtain refunds and keep your supervisor apprised.

In addition to the Facilities and Operations Department’s heightened focus on disinfecting surfaces, ventilation, and common areas, we all need to do our part to lessen the spread and impact of this virus. We’ve created an online Coronavirus resource that we will continue to update as information becomes available. The CDC notes that for the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to Coronavirus is thought to be low and most people will be able to recover at home. The most important action we can take is prevention.

If you are sick, stay home.
If you become ill with flu symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others except to receive medical care.

  • Visit the CDC for additional guidance.
  • Call the New Mexico Department of Health at 505-827-0006 if:
    • You have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and in the 14 days before your symptoms started, you visited China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or were in contact with a person known to have Coronavirus,
    • You do not have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but you did travel to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea, in the last 14 days, or were in contact with a person known to have Coronavirus.
    • You suspect you have been in contact with someone with Coronavirus.

If you know someone who has traveled to a place that has diagnosed cases of Coronavirus, encourage them to follow the guidelines on these sites:

Mitigate the spread of airborne illness:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) and often.
  • Use hand sanitizers and wipes.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Older people with health conditions such as diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease should avoid non-essential air travel.

SFCC’s Safety and Security and Emergency Management teams are monitoring the situation closely. I encourage everyone to count on one another to observe the guidelines and to continue providing a healthy learning and working environment for our campus community.


Becky Rowley, Ph.D.