As we launch our fall semester, you may have questions in light of recent announcements requiring vaccinations or regular testing for state employees and other college and university employees in New Mexico. I am currently engaged in robust and in-depth conversations with members of SFCC’s Governing Board, COVID-19 Task Force, community members, and partner community colleges throughout the state to determine next steps for SFCC’s COVID response. I will share our determination on updated COVID requirements soon. Until then, SFCC will continue with its current COVID-19 protocols (listed below and available on the SFCC COVID site).
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced a new policy requiring all state employees to either be fully vaccinated or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. While the policy did not explicitly mandate vaccines or regular testing for New Mexico colleges and universities, the Governor urged other government agencies to follow suit. Last week, the University of New Mexico, Central Community College of New Mexico, and New Mexico State University announced various adaptations of this policy.
I have been extremely proud of SFCC’s commitment to COVID-safe practices – including continued masking, social distancing, stringent cleaning practices, and ventilation upgrades. I believe this prudent and consistent approach continues to serve as a bulwark against this virus, including the Delta variant – particularly among the unvaccinated. The Delta variant spreads more easily and rapidly, and is responsible for the recent surge in COVID cases – including some 90 percent of current cases.
Vaccines work and save lives. While a vast majority of Santa Feans have strongly embraced vaccinations, including SFCC employees and students, we are not done. Proof of vaccination, continued mask use, social distancing and infection screening protocols are widely cited as strong defenses in keeping our community safe as well as eradicating this virus, which is responsible for 4,425 deaths in New Mexico and more than 630,000 deaths in the U.S. (NMDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Opt In)
Please take a moment to review SFCC’s current COVID-19 protocols:
- Masks are required.
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid congregating in groups.
- Avoid staying in public, indoor spaces for extended time periods.
- Children are allowed on campus. Masks required.
- Fully vaccinated? Please apply for the SFCC Fast Pass, which will help us lessen mask requirements in the future.
- Departments, programs, and unique spaces may require special protocols or safety requirements.
- Appointments are highly encouraged.
I am immensely grateful for your devotion to keeping our SFCC community safe. It is because of your dedication to your community, your colleagues, and the students we serve that SFCC has weathered this pandemic in the way we have. I look forward to updating you soon on SFCC’s next steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.
Becky Rowley, Ph.D.