Message from President Wells
July 2, 2020
New Mexico Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to make numerous sacrifices over the past six months both in New Mexico and across the nation. These have been challenging times for everyone, but New Mexico Tech has responded as I knew we would. We have stepped up to meet these challenges and borne this responsibility. We have worked diligently not only to follow mandated requirements, but also to go above and beyond those requirements to make things better for our fellow New Mexicans. I am proud of you all, and I am always proud to be the president of our university.
However, now is not the time for us to relax and consider the fight won because the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across the country. We must continue our resolve to adhere to the orders issued by New Mexico’s leadership even as we may grow weary from the effort. This may not always be easy, but if we strictly follow these orders, we will keep the most vulnerable among us safer, and we will see the end of this public health crisis sooner.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has extended the state’s emergency public health order through July 15 and issued a severe warning about the risk of New Mexico being forced to re-enact more severe public health restrictions in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in neighboring states and indeed across the U.S. In order to help control the spread of the virus in New Mexico, the governor announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state travelers into New Mexico, whether traveling by air or by motor vehicle. Hotels and other places of lodging are required to enforce the 14-day travel quarantine for any out-of-state visitors and report non-compliance to state health authorities.
This order's direction to quarantine does not apply to persons employed by airlines, those performing public safety or public health functions, military personnel, federal employees, those employed by a federal agency or national defense contractor, emergency first responders, health care workers, those arriving in the New Mexico pursuant to a court order, and persons who are employed or contracted by an "essential business", as defined by the operative public health order addressing mass gathering restrictions and business closures, and who are traveling into New Mexico to conduct business activities.
New Mexicans are asked to restrict travel outside of the home to the bare minimum. In order to underscore the importance of wearing face-coverings for all emergent and necessary travel outside of the home, the governor announced that the state will aggressively enforce the mandatory face-covering requirement for all residents in public places. In accordance with state law, violators will be subject to a $100 fine. In addition, retailers will now be required to ensure that their customers are wearing face coverings in order to enter store premises.
I wish you all a safe holiday weekend and urge you to continue the great work you have all been doing to slow the spread of the virus. We will all get through this together.
Stephen G. Wells
New Mexico Tech