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New Mexico State University releases plan for fall return

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University is rolling out plans for students, faculty and staff as they prepare to return to campus in the fall.

The document released last week outlines the steps the university will take to ensure what officials said would be a “welcoming and functioning campus environment” when classes begin Aug. 19. The complete plan document can be found at

Vice Chancellor Ruth Johnston said in a memo to employees that the university expected to get feedback from the community during a virtual town hall last Thursday afternoon on ways the plan can be refined and improved.

“We know that updates will be needed as the knowledge about this disease advances and best practices evolve,” she said.

Under the plan, every office that directly works with students will need to be operational during regular business hours no later than Aug. 3. Although these offices will be open, officials said staffing levels across campus will be between 25% and 50% of normal to reduce opportunities for viral spread.

The plan includes details about health and safety modifications to housing and dining facilities, cleaning and disinfection protocols, face coverings and how to report and respond to a positive test for COVID-19. All students also will have to complete training before August.

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