On Friday, March 13, El Paso health officials reported the first case of COVID-19 in the city. As the situation progresses, public health officials are actively meeting to gain more information about the issue at hand.
In the meantime, several procedures and regulations have been released and updated in an attempt to maintain the safety and correspondence of the El Paso community. Beginning on March 17, and to extend through March 20, classes for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will all be cancelled. As a result, students should not report to campus and all classes will be online beginning Monday, March 23. On-campus education such as labs and simulations are discouraged and will only be allowed if no alternative is found. The deans of all respective schools along with faculty will be releasing more information as soon as possible.
The Foster School of Medicine along with the Hunt School of Nursing will still continue clinical rotations for third and fourth-year students. Clinical personnel are to remain on duty at specified clinical sites as well.
As long as there is “no increased risk relative to the general population,” staff and faculty on duty can continue procedures on campus. Telecommuting procedures should be seriously considered by all department heads, and in the coming days, facilitation and implementation of telecommuting should be a top priority.
Unless directly addressed by the respective vice president or dean, all essential staff are to remain operational on campus. As a protective measure, all staff remaining on campus will undergo social distancing protocols (no large group gathering, reminders about hygiene, etc.).