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Frequently Asked Questions

NMT COVID-19 FAQs

General | Facilities | Student | Faculty/Staff

General Information

1. Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes, indoors. In compliance with the Governor's Office, New Mexico Public Health Order, and CDC guidance, all NMT employees and students are required to wear a mask in public indoor settings on New Mexico Tech property, including off campus offices. This expectation applies to all individuals, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Exceptions:

2. Is COVID-19 vaccination madated at NMT?

New Mexico Tech will comply with the vaccination mandate for all students, staff, and faculty working on a federal contract. This means that these employees are required to be fully vaccinated or granted a medical or religious exception by December 8th. This decision comes after a thorough review of Executive Order 14042 issued by President Biden on 09 SEP 2021 and the COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force on 24 SEP 2021. 

For employees and students not working on a federal contract, the President's Interim Policy applies: NMT employees and students have a choice to provide either satisfactory documentation of full vaccination or satisfactory proof of a weekly negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test.  

3. How do we know if someone is vaccinated?

For compliance with the Interim Policy or Executive Order 14042, employees either share vaccination documentation with their supervisor or share weekly test results with their supervisor. Students either upload vaccination documentation to the encrypted Jotform, or upload weekly test results to their SmartVault account. These records are maintained confidentially with high levels of data security.

Beyond these records, anyone conducting a class or meeting is allowed to ask everyone in the room about their vaccination status. 

If an individual chooses not to answer or states that they are not fully vaccinated, they are required to follow necessary precautions. However, further inquiry about why someone is unvaccinated is neither appropriate nor permissible. 

4. Are COVID-19 vaccines received outside the U.S. that do not have authorization from the FDA acceptable?

Based on clinical recommendations from the CDC, NMT considers people fully vaccinated 14+ days after their final dose of an FDA authorized or WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine. As of 7/1/2021, this includes Pfizer/BioNtech, Covishield/AstraZeneca, J&J Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac-CoronaVac.

If an individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not recognized as effective by these organizations, they will not be considered fully vaccinated and must follow appropriate precautions on campus. NMT will offer these individuals the opportunity to be vaccinated with FDA authorized vaccinations.

5. Does NMT recognize post-COVID-19 infection immunity as equivalent to COVID-19 vaccine immunity?

Per the CDC, NMDOH, and the National Institutes of Health, New Mexico Tech does not currently recognize post-COVID-19 infection immunity as equivalent to COVID-19 vaccine immunity. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to follow all campus precautions regardless of previous COVID infection.

However, per public health guidance, if an idividual has had a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection during the past 90 days and recovered, then quarantine is not required after close contact to a new case if they remain asymptomatic after the exposure.

6. What should I do if I develop symptoms after I am vaccinated?

In accordance with NMDOH Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 In New Mexico dated July 1, 2021, if an individual develops symptoms, even if fully vaccinated, they must immediately isolate themself and contact a physician to be tested as soon as possible. They should not return to work until symptoms have subsided.

7. Are visitors allowed on NMT campus?

Yes, but limited. Only visitors conducting essential business will be allowed on campus. Visitors to campus must fill out and submit the NMT Campus Visitor Form prior to arriving on campus. Please see specific requirements in the NMT Resilient Reopening Plan (PDF).

8. Are Vendors/Contractors allowed on campus?

Yes, but they need to complete a NMT Purchasing Vendor/Work Request Form. The form must be completed by the NMT Dept. Head and Vendor/Contractor.

9. What does self isolation/quarantine mean?

It means staying physically in your room, apartment, or house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, gym or other gatherings. Limit contact with other people as much as possible.

This includes limiting close contact with people living in your residence. Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage. Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate. Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant wipe. Wash your hands after cleaning the area. 

10. Where do I self isolate?

Stay in your residence hall room, apartment, or residence.

11. Who do I notify if I test positive for COVID19?

Students must contact the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@nmt.edu) or an instructor and seek medical advice. Employees must notify their immediate supervisor, and seek medical advice. 

12. What should I do if I feel ill?

If an employee exhibits any symptoms, they are to contact their supervisor and not come to work. Likewise, if employees develop such symptoms during the course of the day, they should report it immediately to their supervisor, return home, and seek medical attention. If students develop symptoms during the course of the day, they should report it immediately to the NMT Student Health Office at (575) 835-5094, go to their on/off campus residence, and seek medical attention.

13. Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

New Mexico Tech offers convenient COVID PCR testing on campus. We offer shallow nasal self-swab PCR tests at Fidel Center (enter through the northeast patio) on Mondays from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Students, employees, and community members can register for this test via curative.com.  

Locally, the Socorro Public Health Office offers testing. Call 575-835-0971 ext. 3 to see when they are doing testing. Presbyterian may also offer testing ((575) 835 - 4444). If neither of those locations have convenient times or availability, you can use the state's provider portal to find locations a bit farther away (https://cvprovider.nmhealth. org/directory.html). 

One additional option is Vault, a service that provides at-home, oral fluid PCR testing. It requires people to access the internet for ordering a test kit online, video cameras (computer/phone/table) for the telehealth sample collection, and access to a UPS drop box or location.

If your insurance billed you for a Curative test, I'm sorry, that's very frustrating, they should not have done that. Here are the NMDOH's instructions for resolution:

14. What is NMT doing to maintain cleanliness on campus?

All classrooms, high touch surfaces, and restrooms are disinfected daily. 

Wipes will be available in most classrooms for students/teachers to use. NMT will maintain hand sanitizer stations in all buildings and encourage their usage, and will be installing hands-free sanitizer dispensers in the coming weeks. NMT has also reviewed, and adjusted where appropriate, its room air circulation. NMT is installing in each classroom HEPA air filtration systems that use UVC Lights, produces ozone, and produces hydrogen peroxide to clean the air and kill the COVID virus.

NMT has two specially trained and equipped COVID teams that will disinfect areas of campus where a COVID case is suspected.

15. What should I do if a student attends class and displays COVID-19 symptoms?

First, dismiss the student from the class. Then, report this action to the Dean of Students and Academic Affairs (VPAA@nmt.edu).

16. What should I do if a student refuses to wear a mask?

First ask the student one last time to comply with the policy and let them know that they will face disciplinary action if they do not. If they still refuse to comply, dismiss the class and contact Campus Police, the Dean of Students, and Academic Affairs (VPAA@nmt.edu)

Student Questions

1. I am traveling from out of state to move to Socorro on/off campus housing. Will I need to self quarantine for 14 days when I arrive to Socorro?

No. At this time, Executive Orders do not require any persons who travel from out of the State of NM to self quarantine for 14 days. 

2. Do I need to go to class in person?

If the class is face-to-face (F2F) only, then you need to go to class as there will not be online content to replicate the F2F content. If you are in a F2F hybrid class (i.e., one that is taught simultaneously to students F2F and online) it is permissible for you to attend individual lectures online. However, if you signed for a F2F section with limited seats, you should plan to attend F2F, or sign up for an online section instead.

3. Is physical distancing required in classes?

The NMT COVID-19 Task Force and the NM Higher Education Department have approved a resumption of 100% face-to-face classes for the Fall 2021 semester, which does allow for 6 feet of distance between students in many classrooms, but distancing is not required in all cases.

This plan was approved based on the calculated low transmission risk in classes due to minimal/light activity, excellent ventilation, and robust cleaning protocols. To mitigate added transmission risks of the Delta variant, we have followed CDC and NMDOH recommendation and reimplemented universal indoor face mask usage. 

Based on our ongoing voluntary vaccination status reporting initiatives, we know our campus is at least 75% fully vaccinated, which exceeds the 60% threshold the state has been using regarding building occupancy limitations.

4. What is the best way to contact advisors, professors, and other instructors?

To facilitate social distancing and because many faculty are working from home, students should use email to initiate contact with advisors and instructors. Follow up with phone calls when appropriate.

5. Is the NMT campus cafeteria open?

Yes. Indoor dining is in compliance with state regulations.

6. What is the best way to contact staff offices, such as Registrar, Financial Aid, Residential Life, Cashier, Student Services, Counseling Center, Disabilities Services, Health Center, and others?

Students should check the website for online services for all staff offices first. If you do not find a resolution online, call the office to find a resolution to your issue or to make an appointment. Drop-ins are discouraged in order to maintain social distancing and minimize exposure of both students and staff members. For items that must be done in person, such as getting a new ID card, call to make an appointment.

7. What software and hardware do I need to participate in online classes?

Students need a fairly new computer to access our Canvas Learning Management System and to use Zoom. NMT will provide Zoom. Students need a webcam and microphone. NMT has combo sets available if a student does not have one. Students will need access to a fairly fast Internet to participate in live Zoom sessions. Students with inadequate internet service may need to download the recordings and watch them later -- called asynchronous learning. NMT might be able to set students up with an Internet hotspot using a mobile phone, providing their area has adequate cell reception. If you do not have access to a webcam on your desktop computer, laptop or tablet, talk to your advisor about options.

Faculty and Staff Questions

1. Are NMT employees allowed to travel?

Official NMT travel is allowed, subject to manager approval. 

2. Do instructors need to wear a mask in class?

When fully vaccinated instructors are able to maintain at least six feet of distance, they may choose to remove their mask for the purpose of improved communication during instruction.  

3. Is physical distancing required in classes?

The NMT COVID-19 Task Force and the NM Higher Education Department have approved a resumption of 100% face-to-face classes for the Fall 2021 semester, which does allow for 6 feet of distance between students in many classrooms, but distancing is not required in all cases.

This plan was approved based on the calculated low transmission risk in classes due to minimal/light activity, excellent ventilation, and robust cleaning protocols. To mitigate added transmission risks of the Delta variant, we have followed CDC and NMDOH recommendation and reimplemented universal indoor face mask usage. 

Based on our ongoing voluntary vaccination status reporting initiatives, we know our campus is at least 75% fully vaccinated, which exceeds the 60% threshold the state has been using regarding building occupancy limitations.

Facilities Questions

1. Is the NMT golf course open?

Yes, call 575-835-5335 or visit https://www.nmt.edu/golf/ for more information.

2. Is the NMT swimming pool open?

Yes, call 575-835-5221 or visit https://www.nmt.edu/physrec/pool.php for more information. 

3. Is the NMT gym open?

Yes, call 575-835-5120 or visit https://www.nmt.edu/physrec/ for more information. 

4. Is the NMT campus cafeteria open?

Yes. 

General | Health | Facilities | Student | Faculty/Staff