UNM Policy on Vaccination

UNM COVID-19 Updates for UNM Main & Branch Campus Instructors, Spring 2022.

UNM Academic Affairs encourages instructors to include in their syllabi the following syllabus language on COVID-19 safety and requirements:

Syllabus Language: UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations 

UNM requires COVID-19 vaccination and a booster for all students, faculty, and staff, or an approved exemption (see: UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations).  Proof of vaccination and booster, or a medical, religious, or online remote exemption, must be uploaded to the UNM vaccination verification site. Failure to provide this proof may result in a registration hold and/or disenrollment for students and disciplinary action for UNM employees.

Booster Requirement: Individuals who received their second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine on or before June 15, 2021, or their single dose of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine on or before October 15, 2021, must provide documentation of receipt of a booster dose no later than January 17, 2022.

Individuals who received their second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after June 15, 2021 or who received their single dose of Johnson & Johnson after November 15, 2021 must provide documentation of receipt of a booster within four weeks of eligibility, according to the criteria provided by the FDA (5 months after completing the Pfizer or Moderna sequence, and 2 months after receiving a one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine).

International students: Consult with the Global Education Office.

Exemptions: Individuals who cannot yet obtain a booster due to illness should request a medical, religious, or online remote exemption (which may have an end date) and upload this to the vaccination verification site.

Medical and religious exemptions validated in Fall 2021 (see your email confirmation) are also valid for Spring 2022 unless an end date was specified in the granting of a limited medical exemption. Students must apply for a remote online exemption every semester.

Syllabus Language: UNM Requirement on Masking in Indoor Spaces 

All students, staff, and instructors are required to wear face masks in indoor classes, labs, studios and meetings on UNM campuses, see the masking requirement. Students who do not wear a mask indoors on UNM campuses can expect to be asked to leave the classroom and to be dropped from a class if failure to wear a mask occurs more than once in that class. Students and employees who do not wear a mask in classrooms and other indoor public spaces on UNM campuses are subject to disciplinary actions. Medical/health grade masks are the best protection against the omicron variant and these masks should be used, rather than cloth.

Syllabus Language: COVID-19 Symptoms and Positive Test Results:

Please do not come to a UNM campus if you are experiencing symptoms of illness, or have received a positive COVID-19 test (even if you have no symptoms). Contact your instructors and let them know that you should not come to class due to symptoms or diagnosis. Students who need support addressing a health or personal event or crisis can find it at the Lobo Respect Advocacy Center

[For music instructors only: Syllabus Language: UNM Requirement on Masking for Music Students

Qualified music students must follow appropriate specific mask policies issued by the Chair of the Department of Music and the Dean of the College of Fine Arts.]

Additional Information on Semester Planning for Instructors:

  1. Recognize that disciplinary action on a student's non-compliance with the vaccination mandate or the masking requirement is the responsibility of Dean of Students and Academic Affairs. If a student refuses to comply with the masking requirement and insists on remaining in class, an instructor may dismiss class to protect students and inform the Dean of Students of the student conduct violation.
  2. Plan in advance for student attendance disruption, due to a rise in prevalence of the Omicron variant in New Mexico, particularly in January and February. Build deadline and assignment buffers into the syllabus. These might include, for example, make-up exams; the option to take exams or quizzes twice; second due dates for assignments; a no-consequence extension that a student can opt to use once in the semester; a quiz/lab/paper policy in which x of a total y assignments will count for the final grade; alternative assignments or content posted on the learning management system to address missed content in scheduled class periods. Instructors may also want to support students actively in developing study groups or buddies so that they can work with their peers to catch up on missed classes.
  3. Protect students and yourself from misplaced grade expectations by providing clarity and consistency around assignment and grade expectations in the syllabus and in the learning management system (UNMLearn or Canvas) and by providing a mid-term grade and early feedback.
  4. Work with your Chairs and colleagues to anticipate and address instructor absence from a face-to-face class due to illness.  Identify a colleague who can cover a class, if it becomes necessary, or identify alternative assignments and instruction that can be provided to students during a period of instructor illness.  Instructors should inform students repeatedly how they will communicate with them about the class, assignments, grades, attendance, and class meetings.  An instructor who must stay home due to illness (e.g. tests positive for COVID-19) may, if they feel well enough to teach, shift a face-to-face class to use remote instructional tools (e.g using Zoom, Canvas, email, etc.) for up to, but not more than, two weeks, notifying their department chair. During this limited-period temporary remote instruction, students may not be penalized for failure to attend remotely. The department chair must be notified of any shift to remote instruction.  If other pandemic driven disruptions block an instructor’s ability to work in their assigned instructional modality, they should consult with their department chair; the chair can use their professional discretion to develop temporary modifications (no more than two weeks), and in the case of faculty instructors advise on the availability of leave options.
  1. Extend flexibility, where possible, around academic deadlines and attendance to students who are sick, and don't require notes from medical providers, who are overloaded.Provide information about student support resources. (For UNM's Albuquerque Main campus, see http://goweb.unm.edu/studentguide/ and https://students.unm.edu for quick links, including mental health resourcesstudent resource centerspeer tutoring, and crisis support and offer affirming referrals to services). 
  2. Understand that there is no expectation that instructors offer a "hiflex" course (simultaneously in-person and streamed remotely). Hiflex may be challenging for both the instructor and student. Qualified students may request accommodations for the semester by working with the Accessibility Resource Center. Possible accommodations may include attending class remotely but only in cases in which the instructor agrees that remote attendance will not lessen the learning experience and only when the student has a documented need for an accessibility accommodation. Instructors may choose on an individual basis to stream a few classes on a temporary basis for students who request that flexibility when they are sick or are encountering other COVID-19-related constraints.
  3. Schedule remote class meetings using the Learn-Zoom integration in combination with authentication.

If a student informs you that they have tested positive for COVID-19:

  1. Inform the student that the university requires self-reporting of a positive diagnosis.
  2. Point the student to the information in the student section of this site.
  3. Send a follow-up e-mail to the student, copying the COVID-19 Coordinator, Carla Domenici at covidcoordinator@unm.edu, adapting the following language:

cc: covidcoordinator@unm.edu

I want to follow up on our conversation by providing you with some information. UNM requires individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to report their status at this portal. Reporting your status will allow university personnel to help prevent transmission to others.

Remember that, "Everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of the day of the positive viral test for asymptomatic persons). They should wear a mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days" (Centers for Disease Control). For more information, please consult student section of bringbackthepack.unm.edu.

Let's stay in regular communication so that we can make sure that you don't fall behind in class while you isolate and that you have access to information about course materials and assignments.
I am copying UNM's COVID-19 coordinator, Ms. Carla Domenici, who may contact you to request information so that a medical team can assess risk of transmission to other students and to faculy and staff.
[Main campus only: Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) is available to provide health care to students who are ill, call (505) 277-3136.  Lobo RESPECT Advocacy Center (tel:(505) 277-2911) can assist with support contacting professors and accessing services.]
Thank you for talking with me. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  1. The Covid Coordinator, Carla Domenici, will contact you if there are concerns of transmission to you and your class and will provide information about the right measures to take.


Once the Covid Coordinator receives report of a COVID-19 positive student, they will work with the Department Administrator to determine if spaces need to be Covid-19 Cleaned.

The Covid Coordinator will also work with the Department to determine if anyone in class with the Covid-19 Positive Student meets the following criteria as a close contact/exposure:

  • They were not wearing a mask;
  • They were less than 6 feet from the Covid-19 Positive Student;
  • They ate or drank with the Covid-19 Positive Student;
  • They spent more than 15 minutes (cumulative) with the Covid-19 Positive Student within a 24-hour period.


Through the above data gathering efforts, guidance will be provided on whether faculty, staff, or students were exposed and advice on follow-up, if needed, provided.

The Covid Coordinator will confer with the UNM COVID-19 Rapid Response Team to determine if an in-person (aka live) class needs to be converted to remote learning and whether class members need to quarantine or test. She will share the determination with Office of the Provost and the appropriate College Dean. The Department should seek confirmation from the respective College Dean or Associate Dean before canceling classes or changing classes to remote learning and not exceed two weeks of remote learning for a face-to-face class.

Classroom Information:

Classroom Occupancy and Modalities: On UNM's Main Campus, the average classroom occupancy level for Spring 2022 is 40% of capacity. 83% of classes are at 60% capacity and below. 66% of classes are at 45% capacity and below.  Departmental decision-making about classroom preferences and enrollment led to scheduling some classes at greater than 80% capacity. On UNM's main campus, 68% of courses are face-to-face, 8% are hybrid, and 24% are online max. UNM has taken steps for supporting HVAC systems and facility air exchange following CDC guidelines. 

Distribution of Spring 2022 Course Modalities on Main and HSC Campuses

Spring 2022 course modalities - in person 68%, online max 24%, hybrid 8%

How does UNM address student self-reporting of positive COVID-19 diagnosis and concerns about student exposure and transmission (see also student section):

UNM's COVID-19 Rapid Response Team (RRT), comprised of medical and emergency response professionals, will operate in Spring 2022 and in coordination with the New Mexico Department of Health and its contact tracing team. RRT evaluates a range of COVID-19 transmission and positive data, addresses exposure events from positive students and manages follow-up around communication, medical care, testing, and isolation, working with UNM's Covid Coordinator.

Students who are identified as having possibly been exposed either on campus or in a residence hall due to proximity to an individual confirmed to be COVID positive may be advised to obtain testing via email notification.  Please watch for any emails from the UNM Rapid Response Team (RRT) for detailed information. 

All positive cases in the state are reported to the New Mexico Department of Health, which provides follow-up contact tracing. Faculty are not responsible for identifying potential contacts of students who report having tested positive for COVID-19.