New Mexico State University Pharmacist John Landrum prepares a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine dose during a walk-in clinic at Corbett Center in May. | NMSU photo by Josh Bachman
All New Mexico State University system employees will be required to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September or begin to undergo weekly testing, the university announced Tuesday in a letter sent to NMSU campuses and offices across the state.
“The New Mexico State University system continues to prioritize being agile and adaptive in its response to the changing pandemic landscape and evolving guidance from state and federal officials,” the letter from Vice Chancellor and Chief COVID-19 Officer Ruth A. Johnston states.
“NMSU is currently planning to require all employees at all campuses and offices statewide to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis, beginning Sept. 30, 2021.”
Campus leaders are also discussing vaccination and testing requirements for NMSU system students, and an announcement on this decision will be forthcoming, Johnston said.
The new vaccine requirement is a change from previous policy, which strongly encouraged, but did not require, vaccination or testing for employees.
“This change is consistent with the commitment we have made since the beginning of the pandemic to monitor the latest guidance at the federal and state levels, and take additional steps as a university system, should conditions warrant, to uphold our commitment to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff,” Johnston said.
The university is currently developing a plan for implementing the new requirement, and Johnston said more information about what documentation will be accepted and how to submit proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results will be available soon.
On Thursday, the NMSU system announced a revision to its mask guidance for vaccinated individuals, requiring face coverings at all indoor NMSU system locations and offices around the state when it is not possible to maintain six feet between individuals. Those who are unvaccinated must wear a mask at all times when indoors.
NMSU President John Floros will be joined by Johnston and others on the first NMSU system town hall webinar of the fall semester at 3 p.m. on Aug. 10, which will focus on the return to campus for faculty, staff, and students, including the new vaccination and testing requirement. Viewers can submit questions in advance via this link and watch via Zoom or Panopto. For more information, contact the Office of the President at 575-646-2127.