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Luna safety measures ramped up

#### College vigilant as pandemic rolls on

Taking every feasible precaution to ensure the health and safety of the campus community has been a priority for Luna Community College in recent months.

Wary of the potential spread of COVID-19 in northern New Mexico, Luna administrators have implemented stringent new measures on campus within the last several weeks.

While the vast majority of classes are being held remotely for the Fall 2020 semester, which began Aug. 17, the limited number of students and faculty who do come to campus are following enforced social distancing, wearing face masks and using sanitizer stations. Sanitizing protocols are in place for each classroom.

In one of the few classes being held on campus this semester, Luna students practice social distancing and wear face masks while in attendance.

Starting Aug. 24, the college’s lone access point — a gated entrance on the northern edge of campus — has been manned by a campus security detail. Security officers use screening checks for students and visitors. Campus access has been limited and is closed to all traffic at 6 p.m. daily.

For the past month, Luna employees have been required to check in with an online portal on a daily basis, completing a questionnaire prior to reporting to work. Each department has been tasked with conducting daily temperature checks for employees.

The screening for students and employees includes questions about recent travel and visitors, in addition to a checklist for symptoms. Results of screenings may trigger additional screening, testing and contact tracing in partnership with local health care entities.

Mask wearing and social distancing has become the norm across campus, and most meetings are conducted using Zoom, Google Meetings or similar technology.

A self-screening station — stocked with questionnaires, thermometer, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer — helps ensure health and safety for all involved.

Luna’s facilities crew has invested time and energy in disinfecting and sanitizing office and classroom spaces, while foot traffic has been limited in general.

Group sizes have been limited as per policy.

And, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, other measures like frequent hand washing and sanitizing of surfaces continue to be encouraged for all.

“With local increases in COVID cases,” said Luna interim President Dr. Kenneth Patterson, “we need to be more vigilant and work as a team to maximize our safety measures. Our goal is to avoid all COVID cases at Luna, and as a result, the functionality of our campus.”