Information about COVID-19

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is closely monitoring the emerging global public health concern related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through trusted authorities including the  New Mexico Department of Health,  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)U.S. Department of State and the  World Health Organization.

We are working in coordination with UNM leadership to maintain a safe and healthy learning, working and clinical environment for all of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors. This webpage provides updates relevant to the UNM Health Sciences community along with links to various resources available to students, faculty, staff, patients and community members.

COVID-19 Health Hotline

The New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center are operating an information hotline – 1-855-600-3453 – for the public and health care professionals with questions about the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

1-855-600-3453

 

COVID-19 Info. Hotline

Please use this number for all non-health related questions rather than the health hotline.

1-833-551-0518

Main Campus COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Communications

August 4 - HSC Communications

Health System Unified Operating Plan Now Live in AIR (Tableau).

Read More

August 3 - Message from Dr. Richards

Dear Colleagues, Throughout my career I have always found that being reflective...

Read More

July 31 - HSC Communications

Announcing the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Read More

COVID-19 Health Hotline FAQs

  • Provides health guidance if you think you might be experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, including dry cough, high fever or shortness of breath. You should call the hotline first  before seeking medical treatment.

  • May recommend that people self-isolate, particularly if they’re experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection. Operators will help them determine the next best step.

  • Offers guidance to health care providers seeking to test a patient or who have questions about the novel coronavirus.

It does not issue clearances to return to work – that is up to each individual’s employer to decide.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health are strongly discouraging non-essential travel outside of the state at this time. Meanwhile:

  • Remain home from work or school if you are sick and call the hotline at  1-855-600-3453 if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Continuetaking common-sense steps to protect your health and the health of others, such as covering your cough or sneeze and washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

COVID -19 HOTLINE SCAM
Please be aware there are several phishing scams where the caller impersonates a representative from the COVID-19 Hotline or other medical entity. The scammer is asking for personal information like social security and date of birth, telling callers they must have that information in order to release COVID-19 testing results.

Representatives from UNM Health, Presbyterian and Lovelace Health System want to remind the public that we will never ask for your social security number. Any confirmation of a positive COVID-19 swab test will be made by the clinic where you were seen or the New Mexico Department of Health.

HSC Policies and Guidelines

Effective March 19, 2020, all buildings on the HSC campus will be badge access only. This safety measure will continue through our extended period of limited operations on campus.

Effective March 21, 2020, no visitors will be admitted into UNM Hospital, with the few exceptions you can see here.

In accordance with NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Public Health Order of March 23, 2020, gatherings of five or more people are prohibited. Departments should use video and phone conferencing whenever possible for interviews and other meetings. If you need to cancel events or guests, we have created a template to help communicate that information.

Please visit  NM Department of Health website to see the latest guidelines regarding travel.

Please visit  UNM Event Registration website to register an upcoming event(s).

You can access this registration with or without a login (MyUNM ID). Please do so and enter the requested information.

In response to UNM HSC canceling of all university related travel, employees are eligible to receive reimbursement for travel costs paid for personally for a conference that was canceled due to COVID-19.

  • Reimbursement will be allowed with proper documentation and receipts.

  • The department is responsible for tracking and monitoring any unused available airfare credit to ensure that any future use of unused flight credit is for a University business purpose.

  • Employees who have incurred travel costs related to a cancelled trip should contact the airline or hotel vendor for a refund or to change the ticket for future travel. Some airlines are waiving change fees in response to COVID-19 claims and cancellations. An updated listing of US airlines that are waiving fees over COVID-19 can be found  here.

For additional information visit the Guidance for UNM regarding COVID-19 website.

Travel FAQ

The University has restricted University-related travel until further notice, with limited exceptions for travel essential to University operations. We are carefully evaluating all University-related travel, including by car, to high incidence areas outside of and within the state on a case-by-case basis.

Potential travel, including extramurally-funded travel, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This evaluation will be made by the immediate supervisor. Exceptions related to extramural funding must first be approved in writing by the appropriate Principal Investigator and sponsoring agency (where applicable).

Required learner travel on a limited basis for required rotations, both incoming and outgoing, is currently allowed as essential. Please consult with the appropriate Dean and refer to Out-of-State and High-Prevalence Area Rotations for House Officers and Out-of-State and High-Prevalence Area Rotations for HSC Students.

Learners completing essential required rotations will be allowed to travel into the state. They must follow all quarantine orders and COVID-19 safe practices. This includes requiring all visitors be asymptomatic when they begin their travel, wearing a mask and practicing careful personal hygiene during the trip. They must also be screened for symptoms each day before coming to campus.

Incoming visitors from out of state conducting business-related activities will be accommodated on a very limited basis and only for the purpose of employment interviews. These visits cannot last more than three (3) days total, and COVID-19 safe practices must be followed.

This includes requiring all University busines-related visitors (does not include students) to be asymptomatic and to have had a negative COVID-19 test (sample plus result) 72 hours before beginning travel, to self-monitor symptoms, to use masks, practice stringent personal hygiene and physical distancing during the trip. They will also be screened for symptoms each day before coming to campus.

Groups must not be larger than five (5), meetings must take place in large spaces (e.g., conference rooms) and attendees must adhere to social distancing of at least 6 feet and use masks at all times.

All other incoming visitors are not allowed at this time.

No University-related travel for any future date is being approved at this time, unless an exception has been granted. All existing travel arrangements must be cancelled unless an exception has been granted.

All HSC students, faculty, staff, and residents are advised to avoid all non-essential out-of-state travel for personal reasons. Additionally, we advise HSC community members to avoid travel to high-incidence areas within the state. We know this advice may be a hardship for some members of our community.

We understand that some faculty, staff, or students may have personal circumstances that lead to travel, and in those circumstances we ask our community members to be mindful of their responsibilities to others, to research community spread at their planned destination, and to voluntarily quarantine or self-isolate upon return.

There is also free COVID-19 testing available, and we encourage self-monitoring of symptoms to reduce the risk to others. Employees should contact Occupational Health at 505.515.8212 for additional guidance. Because travel advice and high-incidence areas change constantly, please check here for the latest information.

If you do travel out of state for personal reasons, please be aware of the state quarantine/self-isolation requirements, which can be found here. Please contact Occupational Health at 505.515.8212 for additional guidance on travel and follow their recommendations.

No travel reporting is required. However, all HSC community members returning from travel should contact Occupational Health at 505.515.8212 and follow their recommendations.

Should the resulting quarantine or self-isolation period interfere with your ability to perform your duties, you may use accrued sick or annual leave to cover the period that you cannot return to campus. Pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, all UNM employees, including those working at the Health Sciences Center, are allowed 10 days (80 hours) of total paid leave to quarantine or self-isolate.

UNM Hospitals, SRMC and UNMMG have their own Human Resources systems and policies and were excluded from this leave provision, but those employees may draw from any category of accrued leave to cover their quarantine time.

Annual leave requests will be determined in accordance with UAP Policy 3400, § 5, as it relates to staff employees, Faculty Handbook Policy C-50 as to faculty, and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Staff and faculty are not asked about the purpose for leave when they request annual leave. However, if a staff or faculty member intends to use annual leave to travel out of state or to an area of high-incidence within the state, it is highly recommended that you inform your supervisor in advance, and discuss whether such leave and the resulting quarantine or self-isolation period may interfere with the needs of the University and/or your ability to perform your job duties.