Guidelines for Main and Branch Campus Research

Effective May 16 – August 2, 2021

Research should plan to resume and include human subjects research, field work, etc. during the summer and intersession. Researchers are reminded that everyone is expected to remain in compliance with NMDOH safety standards as well as UNM policies.

 During intersession and the summer semester, research and maker spaces may expand occupancy, but must remain in compliance with NMDOH red-yellow-green-turquoise safety standards and guidelines, including the use of PPE and cleaning protocols. During the fall semester, UNM Main Campus and the branch campus laboratory and research spaces will return to full occupancy, again adhering to NMDOH guidelines including the use of PPE and appropriate cleaning protocols in place at the time.

UNM policy for self-reporting a positive Covid-19 test must be followed by all UNM affiliated individuals conducting research on main campus and in field settings.

  • During the summer semester and intersession, research centers, maker spaces, and laboratories may expand occupancy in compliance with NMDOH red-yellow-green-turquoise safety standards. Given that research can be considered as an essential, non-retail business, this is interpreted that at the “yellow” level, there would be no strict restriction on the number of people in a space, as long as their physical presence is essential to the research being performed in the space. Every effort should be made to limit potential exposure and transmission of COVID by limiting occupancy to only those who are needed for a specific purpose within the space.
  • A complete log of persons entering and exiting a research or maker space, including contact information, must be maintained, to allow tracing of potentially exposed individuals in case a researcher becomes positive for COVID-19.
  • Essential workers in the research environment could include the following, provided their presence is required to perform the research in a university research or maker space:
    • UNM personnel paid to perform research (e.g. undergraduate and graduate students, research staff, postdoctoral associates and faculty).
    • Students or faculty performing research as part of a funded education or research program. Although the UNM dormitories will generally not be available for housing and dining for summer/intercession programs, some programs may be allowed to utilize the dormitories with express permission from the Provost.
  • Collaborators from other institutions (e.g. national laboratories), provided their presence on campus to perform the research personally is required (i.e. it cannot be performed by a UNM researcher, or performed remotely).
  • Further steps to limit potential exposure and transmission include the following recommendations:
    • Work that can be done remotely should continue to be performed remotely (e.g. data analysis, writing, etc.). If researchers will be occupying single-person offices, they can work unrestricted in those spaces on campus, provided they follow all UNM and NMDOH guidelines for PPE and other safety measures (e.g., masks must continue to be worn by unvaccinated individuals in all public spaces outside of the single occupancy office space). Shared office spaces will continue to be restricted in occupancy and masks are required for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Vulnerable individuals (as defined by the CDC) should consider carefully their own health concerns and consult with their supervisor/chair to address these concerns. For confidential issues related to underlying health issues or ADA concerns, individuals may consult with OEO. Students are able to opt-out of on-campus research activities if they feel unsafe and should speak with their advisor’s or PI’s supervisor, and/or use an anonymous tip-line (e.g., EthicsPoint) if they feel pressured to return.
  • As we all work towards resuming research and scholarly/creative work in physical settings again, we encourage all researchers to get vaccinated. If you have questions or concerns regarding vaccination, please visit: https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org. UNM is also asking that students, staff, and faculty voluntarily report their vaccination
  • On campus research and maker spaces and personnel that have already received approval from the Provost office through the formal request process do not need to reapply for approval for an increased occupancy level.
  • If research or maker space has not been authorized to reopen, a formal request must be submitted through the university-approved process. The site manager must ensure that routine janitorial service is available, that building access can be provided, and that all necessary disinfectants, masks and relevant PPE are available for facilities to be occupied, in compliance with current CDC and NMDOH guidelines.
  • The number of Covid-19 cases will continue to be monitored. Research spaces that have multiple cases of Covid-19 may be shut down completely or have additional restrictions imposed.