Reporting & responding to a positive case

Any student or employee of the NMSU system or affiliated agencies who has tested positive for COVID-19 must report through the online portal or contact Aggie Health and Wellness Center (575-646-7375 or campus_health@nmsu.edu) immediately. The positive individual may not come to work or class and must follow current CDC guidance regarding self-quarantine or self-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. COVID-19 positive individuals do not need to notify possible contacts themselves or lock down buildings or departments. 

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

 

Cleaning after a positive test notification

Supervisors or department heads who receive notification of a positive test must coordinate with Aggie Health and Wellness Center by contacting Lori McKee at lomckee@nmsu.edu or campus_health@nmsu.edu. AHWC or the local COVID-19 contact point for the campus will rapidly engage with Facilities Operations to implement enhanced cleaning. The process flow chart is found under Cleaning and Disinfection on our COVID-19 Health and Safety Resources page. The same protocol occurs at branch campuses. 

A COVID-19 enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocol developed by EHS&RM will be applied in all cases in which a person with COVID-19 spent time in university spaces from 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms until seven days have passed since the person was present in a university space. This disinfection process used by Facilities and Services uses CDC-approved methods, supplies, and guidance.

Returning to work or class after exposure to a person who has tested positive: Updated: 02/26/2021

If a person has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, there is a 14-day period during which they might become infected. That is sometimes called the “incubation period” for the disease. The 14 days run from the last date they had a close contact with the person with COVID-19. People who have had an exposure must quarantine at home for 14 days. Per current New Mexico Department of Health guidelines, this applies to vaccinated individuals, as well 

Further information is available here: Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in New Mexico. NMDOH policies on quarantine and isolation are subject to change; if this occurs, and the below guidance no longer aligns with NMDOH guidance, all NMSU system campuses should follow the updated NMDOH guidance. 

If you are:

  • Asymptomatic (no symptoms of illness) and had a negative coronavirus test result following a known or suspected exposure – a negative test does not end the need for quarantine. Continue to take precautions per public health orders and monitor for symptoms until your 14-day period is up 
  • Asymptomatic and have had a positive test – stay home, , work remotely and attend class online if possible, and self-isolate for a full 10 days after the date your specimen was collected that resulted in a positive test. Monitor your temperature twice a day and watch for development of symptoms. If you stay asymptomatic for the full 10 days, you may resume normal activities on day 11. If you develop symptoms during self-isolation, you may resume normal activities after at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 1 day (24 hours) has passed without a fever (and without the use of fever-reducing medications) and your symptoms have improved.
  • Symptomatic and waiting for your coronavirus test results – stay home and monitor for symptoms until you receive results. If you feel well enough to continue work remotely or attend classes online, you may choose to do so. If not, employees should use leave, students should communicate with instructors about missed class sessions, and instructors should be flexible in allowing students to make up missed work.
  • Symptomatic and had a negative coronavirus test result – stay home as long as you have symptoms of any illness and return to normal activities once you are completely symptom free for 1 day (24 hours), without fever and without the use of fever-reducing medications. If you feel well enough to continue to work remotely or attend classes online, you may choose to do so.
  • Symptomatic and have had a positive test – stay home and immediately self-isolate for 10 days after the date your specimen was collected that resulted in a positive test. You can resume normal activities after you have been completely symptom free for at least 1 day (24 hours), without a fever and without the use of fever-reducing medications, and your symptoms have improved. If you feel well enough to continue to work remotely or attend classes online, you may choose to do so.

What to do if you have a positive case in your area

  • If you are an employee who has had a positive test, you should notify your supervisor and report it to the Aggie Health and Wellness Center by entering a self-report or contacting the Aggie Health and Wellness Center at campus_health@nmsu.edu or 575-646-7375. This is the same protocol for branch campuses.
  • Affected areas will receive enhanced cleaning and disinfecting if an individual who regularly enters the area tests positive. Your supervisor or department head will notify you when normal operations may resume.
  • You can continue to work unless you are notified that you were identified as a contact by the contact tracing team. If you were identified as a contact, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days, get tested, and follow the guidelines above.