The Pack is Back: A Safe Return to Campus
Welcome to the Fall 2021 Semester. Here's what you need to know.
The University of New Mexico, including our Health Sciences Center (HSC), is working hard to responsibly “Bring Back the Pack” by enacting a comprehensive plan to move our campus back to a fully operational status. This week, here’s what you need to know:
- Effective August 5, UNM will require full COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty, staff, and students, no later than September 30, 2021
- Effective August 2, UNM has implemented an indoors mask mandate for all individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, across all UNM locations in Albuquerque, Taos, Valencia, McKinley, and Sandoval.
- UNM's Fall Return Plan Announcement
- UNM's Fall Return Plan Announcement en Español
- Message from Human Resources - Expiring Policies and Guidance Under Limited Operations
- All-University message from President Stokes - The Pack is Back: A Safe Return to Campus
- UNM Libraries are open, but please check for the latest information on hours and access. Please also continue to adhere to all health and safety protocols, including masking and physical distancing.
- Please check the UNM COVID Dashboard for the latest results on daily screenings, including any reported positives.
- Guidance is available for instructors on what to do if a student informs you they have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Temporary Closures for COVID-Related Cleaning
- Facility Guidance for Suspected COVID Exposure
- Checklist for Positive COVID-19 Cases
- Residence Life & Student Housing has updated information for students moving into student housing, quarantining (when necessary), and adjusting to life in student housing under new health and safety protocols.
- HR has issued guidance for staff and departments on safely returning to campus.
- Updated travel guidelines have been issued for University employees.
- HR has released Bringing Back the Pack: Phasing in Our Return to Full Operations Training. This training is required of all employees before they return to work on campus, and has been automatically assigned in Learning Central.
- Guidance has been issued for conducting research in both on- and off-campus facilities.
- Facilities Management has established a request process to re-open individual departments, designed to organize and prioritize the areas that can move towards an increased on-campus presence. Once a department’s Return to Operations plan has been approved by the appropriate dean/director, the next step towards increasing specific department’s on-campus presence will be to submit a formal Facility Re-open Request on the Facility Re-open Request website.
- Physical distancing and the use of masks continue to be required whenever individuals are working or spending any time around others. This is in accordance with state health protocols as well.
- We’re also constantly updating our Frequently Asked Questions as new questions arise.
Phasing Our Return to Full Operations
UNM has developed a comprehensive design for Bringing Back the Pack in Spring 2021. Limited group of individuals are permitted to return to campus to maintain critical functions and to support Spring semester planning. Services will continue to be available remotely, buildings will largely remain locked, and campus access will remain limited. Yet, our campuses will be forging the tools for protecting Lobos and helping them thrive under new and challenging conditions.
UNM will resume some of the essential operations that have been put on hold since March 13, 2020, including research and creative work that require in-person access to specialized facilities and provision of services to our students and the citizens of New Mexico and deliver the critical elements of an in-person education in a controlled way that minimizes transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
As directed by state health officials, we are continuing to phase in our return to operations in a limited manner with an emphasis on the safety of our internal and external communities. We are ensuring that all members of our community who are able to do so continue to work and learn remotely during this phase. Some faculty, staff, and students, however, will need to return to campus when it is appropriate in order to complete their work in our mission areas.
Within each major area of university operations: Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, the President’s Office, within the specialized areas of the Health Sciences Center, and on each of our branch campuses, leadership will communicate directly with their units to organize and prioritize the areas that can start to move to an increased on-campus presence.
Once a department’s Return to Operations plan has been approved by the appropriate Dean/Director, the next step towards increasing your department’s on-campus presence will be to formally submit a Facility Reopen Request on the Facility Reopen Request website.
Managers and Supervisors should not begin asking employees to return to campus until they receive final approval/confirmation through the UNM Facility Reopen Approval Process.
In the remainder of this document, we outline specific steps and actions that units must take, when authorized by their respective leadership, to allow the return of additional faculty, staff, and students to campus.