Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


UNM Students: If you have symptoms that you think might be due to infection with Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), think that you need to be tested for COVID or have concern for an exposure, please call SHAC at (505) 277-3136 and follow the prompts to speak with a SHAC medical provider.

Testing for UNM Students

UNM Bringing Back the Pack - Targeted Interventional COVID-19 Testing for Lobos

NM Dept of Health Testing Sites

Please follow the link provided to the New Mexico Department of Health directory of testing sites, which has the most current information:

Be aware that a test is only a snapshot in time and can only tell your COVID-19 status at that moment. A test does not protect you from developing COVID-19 in the future, so please continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask in public (and in situations where physical distancing is not possible), and regularly wash your hands and disinfect high-touch surfaces. 

Persons who have symptoms similar to those with COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested (e.g., cough, fever). If you are not symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, a test may not be appropriate at the moment. Please discuss with a healthcare provider if you have any question of whether you should get a test.

Socializing and staying in touch with friends and family is important. Wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through the reduction of droplets emitted through the air when we breath, speak, laugh, and sing. Masks are also very important to help mitigate the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people. 

Since we can be infected with and spread the virus that causes COVID-19 without symptoms or before symptoms develop, wearing a mask helps protect the people we come into contact with. And, when others wear a mask they help protect us. Also, there are medically fragile people among us who may be at risk for developing serious complications when infected. When we all wear a mask we help protect the pack. 

The more we can limit the spread of infection the more likely we can continue to get back to doing the things and going to the places we love. But being able to do so partially depends on what we decide to do, and wearing a mask is one way to continue the progress we made during lockdown.

When deciding to socialize, consider this: The likelihood of being infected is related to being exposed to the virus and the amount of time we are exposed to the virus. What does this mean practically? 

Limit the number of people hanging out together at one time. Why? Less people makes it easier to create space between each other and also limits the statistical probability of coming in contact with someone unknowingly carrying the virus.

Consider hanging out together outside. Why? Most people are infected by close contacts in places such as home and work. When we are outside we can spread out and take advantage of the greater volume of air around us to disperse any mucous droplets that may contain the virus.

The virus is spread through the droplets that leave our mouth when we are just doing normal things such as breathing and speaking. These droplets travel to around 6 feet. Keeping this physical distance makes it less likely that we would inadvertently breathe them in.

Recent studies of SARS-CoV-2 have shown that frequent hand washing (up to 10 times a day), can reduce infection rates by up to 50%. It is a simple measure that, when done consistently, makes a big difference.
Contact sports, by their nature, involve the potential for exposure to high levels of virus should a participant be asymptomatic (i.e., well enough to play) and also be infected and actively shedding the virus.

Restrictions are being lifted very gradually based on the best science and data available. New Mexico has been ahead of the game in this and has specific, evidence-based “gating criteria." 

What this means practically is that when certain parameters are met including lower rates of infection, ability to test adequately, and the availability of enough intensive care unit beds and ventilators in the hospitals for those that require them, then our society can safely resume certain activities in specific ways. The ability to do so depends on each individual’s willingness to be accountable to the greater whole by following the specified guidelines. In essence, the UNM saying of “each of us defines all of us” has never been more applicable. The more each of us are willing to sacrifice some personal freedoms for the good of the whole, the more likely that we will all be able to engage in day-to-day life in a manner that more closely resembles “normal."  UNM’s ability to conduct in-person classes, labs and activities will depend greatly on the behavior of the pack. For more specific information see: