March 13, 2020

Universities extend spring breaks in response to coronavirus

Note: This is a breaking story and may be updated with new information.

Universities, including the two largest in the state, announced they will extend their spring breaks to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, a type of coronavirus, that has become a global pandemic.

University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes announced in a video that the university’s regularly scheduled spring break would extend through Sunday, April 5. Spring break was initially planned to begin March 15 and end on March 22. It will still begin on March 15.

New Mexico State University announced it would hold a two-week break beginning this coming Monday. While coursework will stop, the university will remain open, including on-campus housing and dining services, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News

New Mexico Highlands University said it will extend its spring break by one week. That begins this coming Monday.

“We will use this three week period to plan and prepare for some of the changes this pandemic will necessitate, including for the continued academic success of our students and the health of our entire university family,” Stokes said in her video. “Our strategy remains unchanged: To simultaneously do what we can to flatten the curve of daily infections and reduce the burden on healthcare during this COVID-19 pandemic while also recognizing that we must support our students to progress in their academic work.”

She said more details will be forthcoming.

Previously, UNM announced travel restrictions for students, faculty and staff.

The announcements Friday came a day after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced all K-12 public schools will be closed for three weeks, beginning on March 15. The state Department of Health has also banned ‘mass gatherings’ of 100 or more people, prompting the cancellation of concerts, theatrical performances and other events throughout the state.