COVID Safe Practices

Effective Aug. 2, 2021 until further notice

En Español

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

  1. Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks at UNM. UNM is following NM Public Health Orders and CDC guidance.
  2. Masks are still required for those not fully vaccinated.
  3. Individuals who have been vaccinated but who are still more comfortable continuing to wear a mask may do so, and others should respect their decision.
  4. Mask wearing is still required on UNM shuttles/busses, in the UNM Health System and other UNM Healthcare settings.
  5. Individuals and departments may not establish their own mask mandates for their own workspaces. However, they may ask others to wear a mask as a courtesy. In accordance with UNM guidelines, the individual may refuse if they have been fully vaccinated.
  6. When worn in the workplace, masks/face coverings must be appropriate for work with regard to images, text, and form of the mask.

Self-Reporting of COVID-19 Symptoms or Diagnosis

  1. Any UNM main campus or branch campus faculty, staff, student or volunteer who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 is required to self-report via UNM’s online self-reporting system. See the Policy Statement for Self-Reporting on UNM Main and Branch Campuses.
  2. Notify your supervisor and exit campus if you are on campus.
  3. Follow the guidance of the UNM Call Center who will be in contact with you per your submitted online self-report.


Status on June 16: Training is being developed.
An announcement will be sent when it is available in Learning Central.

  1. Prior to returning to campus on August 2, all employees must take ‘The Pack is Back’ training, a one-time training requirement in Learning Central.
  2. If your department returned to campus before the training was available, you must take it as early as possible.
  3. Please consult with your supervisor to discuss if your department has other required training for purposes related to returning to campus.


  1. If you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and show no symptoms of COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine following a possible exposure.
  2. If you have been fully vaccinated and either test positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms following a possible exposure, you should call the UNM COVID Call Center (505.515.8212) for testing and quarantine/isolation guidance.
  3. If you have not been fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate for 10 days after symptoms first appear. Non-vaccinated individuals not experiencing symptoms should isolate for 10 days following their positive test. Isolation days may be covered with annual or sick leave; or they may be worked from a remote location as long as the employee is able to do so. If none of these options can be used, then the employee will be on leave without pay.
  4. If you have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and you have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you should stay home for 14 days after your last exposure to that person. Isolation days may be covered with annual or sick leave; or they may be worked from a remote location as long as the employee is able to do so. If none of these options can be used, then the employee will be on leave without pay.

Physical Distancing

  1. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where specifically required as identified by signage.
  2. 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.
    1. 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.
  3. Unvaccinated individuals should try their best to avoid large gatherings and should follow applicable CDC guidance.


  1. Bus/shuttle passengers and drivers are required to wear masks.
  2. Bus/shuttle drivers will regularly wipe down common touch points and surfaces (e.g. handrails, seat backs, driver’s area)
  3. All major bus stops have been marked off with “waiting spots” for passengers waiting to board.
  4. Review the Shuttle Rider Guide for the most up-to-date restrictions.
  5. Individuals operating a department vehicle, 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.
  6. 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. Vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask.

Cleaning of Spaces, Appliances & Equipment

  1. Employees should continue to take ownership of cleaning personal spaces (i.e. personal offices, cubicles and workstations).
  2. Cleaning and disinfecting common and shared areas will be the responsibility of departments and units.
  3. Employees are encouraged to clean workspaces on a daily basis.
  4. Centralized lobbies, restrooms, hallways, stairwells, and conference rooms/classrooms will continue to be cleaned by Custodial Services.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


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.

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
  3. When opening doors (especially restroom or other public area doors) or touching other public surfaces, use a paper towel, tissue or disposable glove.
  4. Use your elbow to operate light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
  5. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm when not wearing a mask. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands after.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. When feeling ill, employees should stay home to reduce the spread of germs.

COVID Safe Practices effective through Aug. 1

En Español

Face Masks or Face Coverings

To prevent spread of COVID-19, the State of New Mexico has mandated face coverings for unvaccinated individuals while in public. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you must wear a face mask during any direct communication with others or when in common/shared spaces, whether indoor or outdoor.

A face mask will be mandatory for unvaccinated individuals when in campus common areas including, but not limited to, stairwells, hallways, breakrooms, copy rooms, elevators, conference rooms and restrooms or anytime you are in a public or common area.

A face mask will not be required when alone in your office or cubicle. However, if you are unvaccinated and in a setting with walls or barriers that are less than five feet tall and you are within six feet of another person, you must wear a face mask.

Each unit or department is responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all persons within their space: employees, students, vendors and visitors. Managers and Supervisors should ensure that proper guidelines are followed for face coverings/masks and that employees and students adhere to the guidelines put out by the University. All departments should keep a supply of disposable face masks for visitors, employees and vendors on an emergency or temporary basis. Disposable masks may be ordered from Safety and Risk Services at Departments may also order masks through LoboMart.

Guests who are unvaccinated, both internal and external, visiting other areas of campus shall wear a face mask whether inside or outside of a building. If you are unvaccinated and visiting another area of campus, you must wear a face mask.

Workspaces and Shared Space

Units must have a plan to meet the required six-foot social distancing between individuals. Design office schedules to accommodate remote work, particularly for those using adjacent spaces, and to support social distancing in the office space. Workspaces should be 6 feet apart or separated by a barrier. As we enter into this phase of our full return to operations, units may need to install barriers for shared spaces and/or low-walled areas.

A shared space is considered to be a work area that meets the following criteria:

  1. Has two or more persons that utilize a workstation in the same office or workspace, and/or
  2. Is a reception area or front desk that does not have an existing barrier between staff members and visitors, and
  3. Is not separated by walls or partitions taller than five feet and meets #1 or #2.

Where the current physical structure is not amenable to installation of barriers, units must have a plan for continued telecommuting, rotating schedules or staggered shifts.

Social Distancing

Avoid meeting with people face-to-face. Communicate electronically, even when communicating with people in the same office or building. All meetings should take place via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other video conferencing software. Be sure you understand the privacy considerations when sharing information electronically at your meetings. Zoom recommendations can be found at

Do not linger in hallways, stairwells, or areas where personnel are likely to congregate such as breakrooms, copier rooms, or other shared areas. Avoid sharing elevators, but when necessary, limit persons in the elevator to two to three individuals and stand six feet apart. Adhere to social distancing when waiting for the elevator.

Most buildings will remain locked and/or badge-access only to limit the numbers of people in our facilities. Buildings that have open hours will have those hours publicly displayed, including on the web and possibly using signage on the building.

Maintain social distancing in University/Department vehicles and limit vehicle occupancy to no more than two people per vehicle.  If two people are occupying one vehicle, each unvaccinated person must wear a face mask while in the vehicle.

COVID-19 Positive Students and Employees* on Campus

If a supervisor becomes aware that a student or employee who has occupied a UNM space has tested positive for COVID-19, please recognize that individual’s right to privacy regarding healthcare issues, but also recognize the concerns of other occupants.

Supervisor responsibility for students or employees who disclose they have tested positive:

  1. Send the individual home or instruct individual to refrain from coming to campus. Employee must begin the self-isolation period of at least 14 days. Contact Client Services at to discuss questions or concerns related to leave.
  2. Instruct the individual to log into UNM’s self-reporting system at and to follow any directives that are an outcome of reporting in the system, including complying with instructions from Employee Occupational Health Services (EOHS) or Student Health and Counseling (SHAC). As part of this process, EOHS/SHAC will communicate with the NM Department of Health regarding your employee’s case.
  3. Request permission from the student or employee to disclose to other employees the positive test results.
    1. Let co-workers who were in the immediate area know of the positive results and send them home and instruct them to call the UNM COVID Call Center at 505-515-8212. If the employee has not granted permission then avoid using the employee name when speaking with co-workers.
    2. Co-workers should follow guidance provided by the Call Center related to testing and self-quarantining.
  4. Supervisor should notify Facilities Management (FM) by submitting a Service Request online at to report a need for COVID-Safe Cleaning procedures.
    1. Department should lock up the space and FM will dispatch staff to secure the area and post appropriate signage.
    2. FM will wait at least 72 hours for their employees’ safety before dispatching a cleaning crew. 
      1. If the area is a critical service area that needs to be reopened sooner than later, the supervisor must state this in the Workorder. If this is the case, FM will wait at least 24 hours before dispatching a cleaning crew. Justification for the critical nature of the operations will be required. The area may be reopened after the space has been sanitized.
    3. Once all disinfecting protocols have taken place, FM will notify the department contact when the area is clear to be reopened and an “all clear” notice will be sent to the FM internal service areas.
  5. A Checklist for Positive COVID-19 Cases has been developed to help UNM administrators/supervisors address situations of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the University environment.

*Similar process should be followed when a visitor or other member of the UNM community discloses positive COVID-19 test results.

COVID-19 Self-Reporting Requirements

UNM has implemented policies for self-reporting of positive test/diagnosis for COVID-19:

Compliance with these policies is critical, both to connect Lobos to resources that can support them and to help the University minimize the spread and assess the community impact of the virus.