Vaccination, Testing & Masking Requirements

Vaccination Requirements

To protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the UNM community, the University of New Mexico will require that all faculty, staff and students accessing University facilities and programs be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

This mandate requires all UNM faculty, staff and students who access campus facilities, housing, programs, services and activities in person to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to limited exemptions.

Please visit UNM’s vaccine verification site to upload documentation confirming your vaccination status.

This mandate was endorsed by the UNM Board of Regents on August 5, 2021, and went into effect on that date.
Click here to read the full text of the mandate.

Exemptions to the Vaccination Mandate

The University of New Mexico permits accommodations to this mandate, based on qualifying disabilities or serious medical conditions, or for the religious observances, beliefs, and practices of its students and employees.

If you believe you qualify for an exemption, please complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the appropriate exemption form.
  2. Upload the completed exemption form on the UNM vaccination verification site. The request will then be reviewed by the office of Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity.
  3. Expect an e-mail response [note that high volume may lengthen response time].
  4. If approved, be prepared to receive periodic e-mail requests to upload proof of a negative PCR test result for samples collected and tested within 7 days of the upload.

Required COVID-19 Testing

Individuals who have a pending or approved Religious or Disability/Medical Condition/Pregnancy/Lactation Status exemption or accommodation from receiving the vaccine are required to submit to weekly COVID testing.

Required COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees and students is vital for maintaining the health and safety of all UNM community members.

Who does this apply to?

UNM employees and students who have a pending or approved Religious or Disability/Medical Condition/Pregnancy/Lactation Status exemption or accommodation from the vaccine requirement are subject to regular COVID testing and must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test every seven (7) calendar days.

What tests are accepted?

Only PCR or NAAT tests will be accepted. Mail-order PCR saliva tests are acceptable, such as the test available from the Vault Health. In-home or rapid antigen tests are not acceptable for meeting the testing requirement.

Where do I get tested?

The COVID-19 test will be at the expense of the employee/student. The State of New Mexico has contracted with a test provider that currently provides tests free of charge.

Other testing locations may be found online through the NM DOH. Please note that testing for this purpose is not available at Student Health and Counseling (SHAC).

Where do I report my results?

Employees and students are required to upload a copy of their test results at the UNM COVID-19 Test Results Upload Site as soon as they are received, but no later than Friday each week. Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test is due every seven (7) calendar days.

What if my test results are Positive?

If you test positive, you should quarantine yourself, report your positive diagnosis online at, and contact the UNM COVID-19 Call Center at 505-515-8212 for specific quarantine and isolation guidance. UNM follows CDC guidance as it relates to testing following a positive diagnosis, which indicates that individuals may continue to test positive for up to 90 days following their diagnosis. Individuals who test positive are excused from the weekly testing requirement for 90 days following the date of their positive test. So long as individuals report their positive test as required via, they will not receive weekly testing requests during this 90-day period.

Do I have to test if I’m not working or on Leave?

Employees are required to submit test results in any week that they work one or more days. If an employee is on leave (annual, sick, PPL, etc) for one or more full weeks, they are not required to submit test results during weeks when they are not working.

Similarly, on-call employees are only required to submit test results during weeks when they are actively working. On-call employees who do not work any shifts during a given week are not required to submit test results for that week.

What about University holidays or breaks?

Similar to when on leave, employees are not required to test while the university is closed for winter break, unless they are physically working on campus during that period of time. Employees are required to submit test results for the partial work weeks before and after winter break, unless they are on leave for the entirety of each week, respectively.

Students are not required to submit test results during Winter Break (weeks of December 20th, 27th, and January 3rd). Students are required to submit their initial test result for the Spring the week before the semester starts, with results due on Friday, January 14th.

Do I have to test if I am on sabbatical or academic leave?

Yes. Main/Branch Campus faculty on sabbatical or academic leave are required to submit weekly test results. Faculty on sabbatical/academic leave advancing their research, pedagogical and/or creative work, out of country or out of state, will not need to submit weekly tests and should submit a limited remote work exemption request.

For academic year (9-month) faculty, do I have to test when outside the periods of campus duty?

Unless they are engaged in a compensated activity, academic year (9-month) faculty are not required to report weekly test results for the full weeks that they are not expected to report for campus duty as defined by Faculty Handbook Policy C90: Dates of Campus Duty. This means that during the full weeks that comprise Fall intersession and Summer session, academic year faculty are not required to submit weekly test results unless they are engaged in compensated work (summer or intersession instruction, summer research, summer administration).

Masking Requirements

The University of New Mexico presently requires masks to be worn indoors by all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, at all locations on the UNM Albuquerque, McKinley, Taos, and Valencia campuses, as well as our regional site in Sandoval County. All students, faculty, staff and visitors should wear their masks at all times in UNM buildings, unless they are eating, drinking, or in an office alone. Masks must be worn properly to cover the nose and mouth.

In order to further protect students, staff, and faculty in UNM learning and research environments, cloth masks will no longer comply with the existing masking requirements. Effective January 18, UNM will require that medical or health grade masks be worn. UNM students, staff, and faculty should wear three-ply or better medical/health procedure masks (ASTM Type 1, 2 or 3 or better). As the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, cloth masks do not afford the best protection against smaller aerosols or particles potentially laden with airborne virus if infected people are present. Cloth masks may be worn on top of the required medical or health grade masks to enhance fit but should not be worn alone. Please watch this helpful video to improve the fit of your mask.

At all indoor UNM events, attendees must wear masks throughout the event unless actively drinking or eating, in accordance with the New Mexico Public Health order. At UNM events where attendees include individuals who are not UNM faculty, staff, or students, event organizers may choose to require those in attendance to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test dated within the last 72 hours. Such proof may be actual cards or documents or photographs on a mobile device. Individuals who are assigned the responsibility for checking vaccination status may find it helpful to review the vaccination verification training.

Please help us continue good public health practices (handwashing; staying home when ill; physical distancing, when possible; mask-wearing, etc.) so we all stay safe and healthy. This policy aligns with the current UNM Health Sciences Center policy for all individuals to wear masks in indoor settings, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, giving us a consistent policy for all our sites in Albuquerque.

Vaccinated individuals are encouraged, though not required, to wear masks outdoors, or in their assigned rooms in our residence halls.

Click Here for More Vaccination FAQs

This page was last updated on (January 12th, 2022 at 6:20 pm).