President’s Communication – March 7 2020

Faculty, staff, and students:

At DACC, we want to make sure we do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. To that end, I wanted to provide an update on the coronavirus that continues to spread around the world.

Information about the virus

  • As the outbreak continues, there has been what is called “community spread” or cases that have been confirmed with no travel to China and no known contact with another case of COVID-19.
  • In New Mexico, there are no confirmed cases. The risk is currently low for people in New Mexico. The federal and state governments are monitoring for cases in the state. In addition, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) continues to monitor and will respond to any cases.
  • To find the most accurate information please access the Center for Disease Control COVID-19 website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. In addition, NMDOH has a weekly advisory that can be seen on their home page at https://nmhealth.org/. You can also visit their page dedicated to information about the virus at https://cv.nmhealth.org/.

Here’s what we’re doing

Below, I’ve included a list of our standard custodial duties. We will be increasing the frequency of duties in order to combat the spread of germs.

  • Wipe down, clean, and disinfect classroom tables.
  • Clean and disinfect restrooms (twice daily, minimum).
  • Clean and disinfect drinking fountains (twice daily, minimum).
  • Wipe down and disinfect “touch points” (doors, doorknobs, push bars, hand rails).
  • Wipe down and disinfect furniture and tables in common areas and hallways.

In addition, we recommend that staff and departments utilize disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and tissues to combat the spread of germs in their areas. Departments can purchase these items utilizing departmental operating funds.

Finally, we are working to identify options for “disinfectant stations” in common areas allowing students to access things like disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and tissues more readily. We also have identified spray disinfectants that we hope to incorporate into classrooms and large areas.

Here’s what individuals can do to prevent the spread of any viruses

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw away.
  • Stay away from those who are sick.
  • Use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean and sanitize objects and surfaces at work and home including doors, doorknobs, keyboards, mice, and cellphones.

The coronavirus can cause mild illness but more severe cases are life-threatening. If you have flu-like symptoms, seek medical help. If you need medical services, please call your healthcare provider. In addition, Ben Archer has opened a health clinic located on the Espina Campus in the DASH Building, Room 83, 3400 South Espina. The clinic hours are 8:15 am to 4:15 pm, Monday through Friday.

DACC and the NMSU System are closely monitoring the situation. We are engaged in contingency planning in order to respond to emerging circumstances as needed.

Please use the links on the menu bar to learn more and stay informed.

Contact your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.