COVID Safe Practices
Effective Aug. 2, 2021 until further notice
Employees are expected to follow these guidelines to continue to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as UNM returns to a full on-campus presence in Fall 2021.
Masks and Face Coverings
- UNM requires masks to be worn indoors by all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated at all locations on the UNM Albuquerque, Gallup, Taos, and Valencia campuses, as well as our regional site in Sandoval County. Masks must be worn in any indoor group setting, including classrooms.
- UNM Los Alamos is currently exempted from the indoor masking requirement, because of lower rates of community transmission.
- Masks are required for all individuals in all HSC buildings and learner settings, including laboratories.
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated instructors teaching in classrooms must wear a mask when entering and leaving the classroom and when moving around the room. When vaccinated instructors are able to maintain at least six feet of distance, they may choose to remove their mask for the purpose of increased communication during instruction. Instructors electing to do so should first consult with their chair/director. Unvaccinated instructors must wear their masks at all times.
- All students, faculty, staff and visitors should wear their masks at all times in UNM and HSC buildings unless they are eating, drinking, or in an office or cubicle alone. If the cubicle walls or barriers are less than five feet tall and you are within six feet of another person, you must wear a mask.
- Vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks outdoors, or in their assigned rooms in our residence halls.
- Mask wearing continues to be required on UNM shuttles/busses, in the UNM Health System and other UNM Healthcare settings.
- When worn in the workplace, masks/face coverings must be appropriate for work with regard to images, text, and form of the mask.
- This masking policy will be revisited as we continue to watch the relevant data on disease progression, including community transmission, test positivity rates, and rates of spread.
- Within two weeks of returning to campus, all employees must take ‘The Pack is Back: UNM’s Fall 2021 Safe Return to Campus’ training, a one-time training requirement in Learning Central.
- If your department returned to campus before the training was available, you must take it as early as possible.
- Please consult with your supervisor to discuss if your department has other required training for purposes related to returning to campus.
- Individuals should physically distance where specifically required as identified by signage.
- In most instances, signage installed during limited operations has been removed from campus buildings; however, where signage remains please stand at floor markings/signage and follow directional flow signage.
- If your department needs assistance in removing signage, please put in a work order to Facilities Management (FM). FM can assist departments with removing signage without damaging (or at least, minimizing damage) to surfaces. FM can assess surface damage for possible repair.
- Unvaccinated individuals should try their best to avoid large gatherings and should follow applicable CDC guidance.
- Do not linger in hallways, stairwells, or areas where personnel are likely to normally congregate such as breakrooms, copier rooms, or other shared areas.
- Adhere to physical distancing when using elevators.
- Utilize UNM’s many communication technology tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other video conferencing and collaboration software. Be sure you understand the privacy considerations when sharing information electronically at your meetings. Read the recommended practices for using Zoom.
- If you plan to utilize UNM’s public transportation, review the Shuttle Rider Guide for the most up-to-date restrictions.
- If you operate a shared UNM work vehicle (e.g. car, truck or van):
- Individuals will clean all touched surfaces prior to driving and upon returning the vehicle to another driver or its parking space. Commonly touched surfaces may include: door handles, keys, steering wheel, gear shift, console buttons, window buttons/knobs, seatbelts, etc.
- Occupancy in a work vehicle (car, truck or van) should be limited to only those who are needed for the specific purpose of the trip.
- Unless driving alone and fully vaccinated, all occupants should wear a mask as long as the mask mandate is in effect for indoor settings.
- Rolling down the windows increases fresh air flow for all passengers and is recommended when possible.
Cleaning of Spaces, Appliances & Equipment
- Facilities Management will clean and sanitize public areas daily, including classrooms, lobbies, waiting areas, conference rooms, restrooms, stairwells, and hallways.
- Cleaning and disinfecting common and shared areas (i.e. breakroom, copy room, supply closet, etc.) will be the responsibility of departments and units. Items cleaned should be things like:
- light switches
- countertops and tabletops
- sink handles/knobs
- coffee pot and other small appliances
- microwave keypad and door
- refrigerator handle
- copier/multi-function printer keypad
- dispensers for hand sanitizer and paper towels
- Employees should continue to take ownership of cleaning personal spaces (i.e. personal offices, cubicles and workstations) on a regular basis.
- Departments that have water coolers should follow the standard proper cleaning protocols outlined in the Information Packet for the Building Coordinator Program. In addition, they should contact their water supply vendor for specific COVID-safe cleaning protocols.
- Public water fountains or filtered water fountain dispensers are cleaned routinely by Custodial Services. Employees may choose to use these dispensers at their own risk. To maintain a clean spout, it is advised that a person’s mouth or mouthpiece to their water bottle not make contact with the spout surface.
- For shop and fieldwork, shared tools, machines, vehicles, handrails, ladders, doorknobs, and other equipment, including portable toilets, should be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout a shift but also at the beginning and end of every shift as well as after anyone uses your vehicle, tools or equipment.
Optional Safety Supplies to Stock
- Disposable masks
- Surface spray cleaning solution
- Aerosol disinfectant
- Paper towels and/or microfiber cleaning towels
- Disinfecting wipes
- Hand sanitizer bottles or refills for stations mounted by departments. (Centrally installed sanitizer station refills will continue to be maintained by Facilities Management.)
- Environmental Health & Safety may be contacted to assess if your department qualifies to borrow, for a period of time, a portable air filtration unit.
Good hygiene and good hygiene etiquette are key to limiting the spread of disease. Although the following practices are recommended for COVID-19, they are also good habits to have on a regular basis.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
- When opening doors (especially restroom or other public area doors) or touching other public surfaces, use a paper towel, tissue or disposable glove.
- Use your elbow to operate light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm when not wearing a mask. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands after.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If you touch these areas of your face you should wash your hands immediately after.
- When using a shared refrigerator, touch only your food and it is recommended that it is stored in an airtight container. Wash your hands as mentioned within this section before eating your meal.
- When feeling ill, employees should stay home to reduce the spread of germs.