Reporting & responding to a positive case

Updated: 8/23/2022

Any student or employee of the NMSU system or affiliated agencies who has tested positive for COVID-19 must report through the online portal immediately. The positive individual may not come to work or class and must follow CDC guidance regarding isolation.

When NMSU is notified of a person with a positive test for COVID-19, Aggie Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) or the affected branch campus will initiate contact tracing and coordinate the process to notify exposed individuals (those who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes) and disinfect buildings. The identity of the COVID-19 positive person will not be disclosed. Supervisors of staff who may have been in the affected building (e.g. Facilities, ICT) will be alerted so they can alert employees as needed.

Once a report of a case is made, AHWC will identify and notify close contacts and provide additional guidance as needed. Unless otherwise directed by contact tracers at Aggie Health and Wellness Center, it is not necessary to pivot temporarily to online or hybrid instruction due to a positive case in the class.

Community college employees and students should report a positive test to the local COVID-19 contact point for their campus:

  • Alamogordo campus: Joan Hale (575-439-3793)
  • Carlsbad campus: Karla Volpi (575-234-9216)
  • Doña Ana Community College campus: DACC COVID-Safety Staff (575-323-1051). DACC employees and students should also complete the DACC Self-Reporting Form
  • Grants campus: Anne Semrau (505-287-6661)

Cleaning after a positive test notification

Supervisors or department heads or instructors who receive notification of a positive te

st should instruct the student or employee to self-report through the NMSU portal found at AHWC or the local COVID-19 contact point for the campus will rapidly engage with Facilities Operations to implement enhanced cleaning.

A COVID-19 enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocol developed by EHS&RM will be applied in cases in which a person with COVID-19 spent time in university spaces. Classrooms and general gathering spaces are disinfected nightly. Individual office spaces will be disinfected by coordinating through Aggie Health & Wellness Center. The disinfection process follows CDC-approved methods and guidance. 

Returning to work or class after an exposure or a positive test:

If you were identified as a close contact of an infected person and you don't have symptoms, you don't need to quarantine – but you should get tested on day 5 if possible, and wear a mask around others inside your home or indoors around others for 10 days. If you do have symptoms, you should get tested and stay home, monitoring for symptoms until you receive test results. If your result is negative, you may return to work or class when you no longer have symptoms of illness.

If you have had a positive test, you should notify your supervisor or instructors and report it to the Aggie Health and Wellness Center by entering a self-report or contacting your community college campus. Isolate at home for 5 days and, once your symptoms (if any) are resolving, follow that with 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.


Affected areas will receive enhanced cleaning and disinfecting if an individual who regularly enters the area tests positive.

Further information is available here: Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in New Mexico. Policies on quarantine and isolation are subject to change.

Workplace considerations

Staffing and Alternative Work Arrangements

Although offices that serve students will be open, we will continue our reduced levels of staffing on campus overall to reduce opportunities for viral spread.

Offices and departments that can operate effectively through telework may continue to do so. Unit return to campus plans should detail staff members’ arrangements for telework, hoteling of office spaces, and in-person work spaces. NMSU recognizes the importance of employee privacy regarding medical information. A decision tree for supervisors can assist in planning for staffing needs.

We’ve also developed an Alternative Work Arrangement (AWA) policy that promotes flexible staff density on the campus and allows for work to get done productively in remote locations. The options available in AWA include telework, flex time, short-term work modifications, and a compressed work week. Training modules have also been developed to assist managers and employees. Additional resources for telework are available at

Employee wellness

Resources on self-care and emotional wellness support are always available to faculty and staff from NMSU. 

Research and creativity

NMSU Research continues to follow a phased approach adopted from Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Council on Research. Progress along phases is based on COVID-19 data from the CDC and New Mexico Department of Health, plus guidance from state, local, and university administrative policies. Research activities conducted under Phases 1 through 4 require review and prior approval from research unit directors, department heads, deans and the vice president for research (VPR). The detailed plan and timeline are available at