Coronavirus update on SFCC events – President, March 12

Dear SFCC Students and Employees:

Santa Fe Community College recognizes that we all have an important role to play in the containment of the coronavirus COVID-19. As news of the coronavirus develops both locally and nationally, we know that mitigating an outbreak can be most effective when the response is early and proactive.

We continue to follow guidance from public health officials and are in daily communication with leaders from the state, local government and other colleges and universities.

Public Events
Today, New Mexico’s health secretary issued an order prohibiting gatherings of 100 people of more. Starting Friday, SFCC is canceling or postponing until further notice any gatherings or public events taking place between March 13 and April 10 that involve 30 or more individuals.

We encourage you to use common sense in planning or attending events of any size during this time. These dates may be extended or adjusted as circumstances warrant.

Thank you for your flexibility and outreach efforts. The college is preparing public information to share with the media on these cancelations as well.

Yesterday, I announced the halt of all SFCC-related travel until further notice. (View past SFCC coronavirus announcements.) I appreciate your quick response on this.

Thus far, all cases of confirmed coronavirus in New Mexico have been reported to be travel related.

Update: On Thursday, the New Mexico Department of Health updated its travel recommendations for individuals contemplating out-of-state travel in the coming weeks and months.

“We care about you. And while we cannot regulate your personal travel decisions, we strongly advise you to reconsider out-of-state travel,” the advisory states. “You will be recommended to self-isolate for 14 calendar days upon your return. Also, as travel bans can be implemented, you run the risk of being unable to return to New Mexico.”

If you plan to travel out of state or country over spring break, the NMDOH has asked that you call them with screening questions. They have set up a 24-hour hotline at 1-855-600-3453. Also, please review these self-quarantine guidelines.

Spring Break
SFCC is closed for spring break March 16 to 22. Please continue to check your email throughout the break to stay current on developments.

Planning Ahead
The college is planning for scenarios that could influence students’ ability to attend classes, faculty’s ability to teach, or the ability of staff to come to work. Communication and planning between faculty, college services and administration is ongoing and you will be informed as updates emerge.

As you are aware, this is a developing situation and the college continues to plan and adapt to changing circumstances. Please continue to refer to the college’s COVID-19 webpage for SFCC updates and health resources.

Stay Healthy, Safe and Kind
If you think you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, you should stay home and first call the 24-hour New Mexico Department of Health hotline at 1-855-600-3453. They will provide an over-the-phone assessment and guidance for next steps.

Please note that SFCC prohibits discrimination and harassment of all students and employees under any circumstance. Xenophobic discrimination or harassment in light of the global COVID outbreak should be reported using our online Complaint and Concern form.

These are stressful times. Consider making an extra effort to practice self-care, physical health and mindfulness to help allay anxiety and promote personal health.

Thank you for doing your part in helping the college, community, and world, take steps to stabilize and recover during these unprecedented times.

Becky Rowley, Ph.D.
Santa Fe Community College