Protecting Lobo Health

Our Lobo theme, "Each of us defines all of us," has never been more true. In the Spring, our health as a community depends on what each Lobo does to support the pack. And each Lobo's academic success depends on the UNM community. Many Lobos have been touched personally by the broader effects of COVID-19 and by divisions in our country. When "each of defines all of us," we can support each other in living our values: compassion, excellence, and equal access to opportunity.

While we are all focused on our physical health and preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, we must not ignore the strains of the time and the impact this brings to the mental health of ourselves and our colleagues.  Reach out and support each other, and look for resources at

UNM Provost Administrative Directive on Mandatory Student Face Covering and Symptom Reporting

December 21, 2020

Your health is important, and the health of the UNM and New Mexico communities is important too.  For this reason, The University of New Mexico fully subscribes to State of New Mexico public health orders on COVID-19, and expects all students to behave responsibly in this difficult time.

UNM is following State Department of Health Public Health Emergency Orders and the All Together New Mexico: COVID-SAFE Practices for Individuals and Employers guidelines, which state: “Individuals are required to wear a face covering or mask in public spaces except when eating, drinking, or unless otherwise advised by a health care provider.” UNM leadership has already stated that, per these orders and the supporting public health law, employees, students, and visitors to UNM, must wear face coverings when they are on the campuses and in the facilities of The University of New Mexico. 

The State of New Mexico public health orders allow an exception when an individual is eating or drinking. UNM honors this exception for spaces clearly and specifically designated on campus for eating and drinking; this does not include classroom, study, or meeting spaces. Students must follow the rules for face covering and social distancing posted in UNM facilities, including gyms and exercise facilities. Students with a documented disability or diagnosis may seek accommodation with the UNM Accessibility Resource Center (ARC).

As we approach the spring 2021 semester, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs is renewing this administrative directive to apply to all UNM students.  All instructors shall require mask wearing in their classroom or class studio or lab and shall drop students who do not comply as outlined below:

All students are required to wear face masks, except when in their own dorm room or personal space, or under the state exceptions mentioned above.  Students who do not wear a mask to face-to-face class meetings on campus can expect to be asked to leave the classroom, and to be dropped from the class if failure to wear a mask occurs more than once.  Students who do not wear a mask in classrooms and other public spaces on UNM campuses are also subject to disciplinary proceedings under the Student Code of Conduct.

All students coming to campus should screen themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms. The University of New Mexico requires that all enrolled UNM students complete a daily online symptom screening during the Spring term.  This will be sent regularly by e-mail to all members of the UNM community, including students.

Further, students may be barred from coming to the UNM campus if:

they refuse to take a COVID-19 test after being notified by authorized UNM Rapid Response Team staff of the need to do so to protect the community;

they do not follow self-isolation and quarantine guidelines when authorized UNM Rapid Response Team staff have notified them of the need to do so to protect the community.

Students may be subject to disciplinary proceedings under the student code of conduct if they deliberately come in contact with students, staff, or faculty or come to campus during the period in which they have been informed that they are still infectious following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

This administrative directive is in effect until May 15, 2021, unless notified otherwise.

Remember, wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing, testing, and self-isolation are tools of mutual protection.  I protect you; you protect me.

James Paul Holloway
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Protect yourself and other Lobos:

  • You have the ability to keep your friends, family, and university safe and to protect yourself. We want to help you do that.
  • Wear a mask on campus. A two-layer cotton mask that covers the nose and mouth and that is cleaned regularly is acceptable; face shields do not meet health requirements. Students with a documented disability or diagnosis may seek a confidential and appropriate mask accommodation with the UNM Accessibility Resource Center (ARC). Unless they have received an ARC-approved accommodation, students who do not wear a mask to a face-to-face class meeting and in spaces on campus can expect to be asked to leave the classroom, to be dropped from class, and to face disciplinary procedures. Students, staff, and faculty of UNM must wear a mask at all times, unless they are in their own dorm room or personal office space or are eating or drinking in the spaces designated for doing so and are following posted rules.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly and take advantage of the hand sanitizer stations posted around campus.
  • Use your elbow or a tissue or gloves when opening doors or pushing elevator buttons and light switches and avoid hugs and handshakes when greeting people; use a slight bow, elbow bump, or toe touch instead.
  • Manage your cough or sneeze by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or in a tissue.
  • Clean personal workspaces such as computer keyboards and desks; if you are employed on campus, follow instructions from your supervisor about cleaning and social distancing.
  • Follow signs and postings to maintain social distance of 6 feet. Classrooms and public spaces on campus will have signs and markings to help you maintain distance as you move around campus.
  • Complete the daily symptom screening when it appears in your UNM e-mail inbox from This will help you determine whether you might expose others to COVID-19 symptoms and will help UNM Student Health and Counseling Services support your health needs. Completion of covidscreen is a requirement for all students, per Provost James Holloway's administrative directive.
  • Stay home if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Fever or chills


Sore throat


Muscle or body aches

Congestion or runny nose

Shortness of breath


Nausea or vomiting

Difficulty breathing

New loss of taste or smell



  • If you think you might have COVID-19, contact Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) at (505) 277-3136 to speak to a medical provider. The medical provider will guide you through testing, health care, self-isolation procedures, and other concerns.
  • If you have special documented health concerns with implications for class participation, or mask wearing, seek confidential support from the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC), and make your own decision about coming on campus safely. ARC staff can support you in seeking accommodations and maintain confidentiality with respect to your health consideration.

Phone: 505-227-3506. Email:

  • If you need to be absent from classes due to illness, the illness of a family member, or a crisis situation, please seek support from LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center.

Phone 505-277-2911. Email:

  • If you need academic support, communicate with your instructor by e-mail, with your advisor via LoboAchieve or e-mail or phone, or UNM resource center staff (

UNM is protecting you:

  • Class delivery and campus spaces ensure 6-foot social distancing.
  • The total number of people on campus is reduced to facilitate social distancing.
  • Mask wearing is mandatory.
  • On-campus signage provides reminders of health precautions.
  • Classrooms and campus spaces are regularly cleaned following rigorous protocols.
  • Cleaning materials, hand sanitizer, and hand washing facilities are readily available.
  • Daily symptom screening, with support follow-up, is presented via covidscreen e-mail to UNM students, faculty, and staff.
  • Full health consultation and health support, including support for self-isolation and quarantining, and COVID-19 testing for students with relevant symptoms or exposure is available through Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) and by appointment, call tel: (505) 277-3136.
  • Contact tracing is conducted in coordination with the New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Lobos who have tested positive with COVID-19 must report this to prevent illness spread, receive support, and facilitate contact tracing.
  • All employees are trained on health protocols.

 Wide-ranging support services are provided to students (available remotely and, in many cases, in-person), including Student Health and Counseling (tel: (505) 277-3136), Advising, Peer Tutoring, Resource center support, and student activities (see:

 Detailed health protocols are followed in delivery of services on campus. Food services will offer meals following packaging and preparation protocols. Housing and Residential Life have strict health protocols for all student residents and all residents will have their own bedroom. Shuttle buses will be cleaned regularly and masks will be required in all university transportation.

Transportation: Shuttle buses will be cleaned regularly and masks will be required in all university transportation. Expect social distancing and mask wearing on shuttle buses and lower occupancy per shuttle, see  COVID-19  Shuttle Rider Guide for guidelines and requirements for customers using the shuttle bus system.

The University is prepared to pivot to a more remote delivery of classes and services if public health conditions change and in alignment with State of New Mexico regulations.

Business operations and office spaces are to limit occupancy to 25% of normal limits. Formal class experiences that include an essential face-to-face element must operate with masks and social distancing of at least 6 feet. Seats have been removed from classrooms, or, in the case of fixed seating, marked, to ensure this requirement. Depending on room geometry, this generally reduces rooms to one-third of normal seating capacity. Classrooms a posting of COVID-19 Safe maximum capacity, marked entries and exits, and mask wearing is mandatory.

Use of laboratory spaces, fabrication facilities, and similar creative work spaces requires masks and six-foot social distancing like class room spaces, as well as daily symptom screening and maintenance of an occupancy log.  Authorization to reopen these spaces on main campus requires a formal request and approval by the Provost to ensure that each space has met both the general COVID Safe Practices and any special needs of the space; similar requests processes are in place on the UNM Branch Campuses, with approval by the Chancellors.  When six-foot distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. when moving equipment or using technology that requires multiple operators in closer proximity) additional attention to health protocols and additional PPE will be required.

All instructional labs and class room spaces will have COVID maximum occupancy signs posted.