ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As students begin fall classes, the University of New Mexico is working on a new way to keep them informed about COVID-19 cases on campus. It’s creating a public, online dashboard where people can see updated information about the virus on campus. UNM said it’s its way of being transparent.
“Other universities across the country have this in place. And it’s intended to really give parents, employees, students, everyone, the community, a feeling of security,” said Carla Domenici, a COVID Coordinator at UNM. “I think that by not having information it can cause a lot of speculation or it can cause fears to be ignited and with the dashboard, our hope is that we let people know that um, we’re really trying to be clear and transparent with the community.”
Without revealing who tested positive for the virus, the dashboard will share updated information like how many positive cases are on campus, where the positive test is on campus, and when the building is cleaned and cleared for re-entry.
From March to August 17, the university’s main campus facilities have seen a total of 35 positive cases:
- 2 students, 1 faculty member, and 11 staff members on main campus
- 4 stnt atheletes and 2 coaches from the athletics department
- 2 students, 5 faculty members and 8 staff members from the Health Sciences Center.
From August 17 to August 18, two people tested positive on UNM’s main campus. The Athletics Department and UNM Health Sciences Center are counted separately.
At UNM, students and employees are expected to self-report if they test positive for the virus.
“So far, we feel that everything has been very successful. If you look at our numbers from March and you know, March to August, we’ve had very few positives during that time frame. And the ones that we’ve had, we’ve been able to step in very quickly and work with the employees to get tests done and get facilities cleaned, and, and isolate or quarantine anybody that needed to be,” Domenici said.
KRQE asked the university if it was concerned about some not coming forward.
“I think that what we’re trying to do is create an environment where students feel comfortable to come forward and report any concerns. We want to make sure their privacy is protected as much as possible. We want to try to ensure they’re not stigmatized in any way and that they have emotional support,” Domenici said.
During the fall semester, there will be up to 1,000 students and 1,000 employees throughout the main campus facilities in Albuquerque on any given day. UNM also has an agreement with the Department of Health to hire and compensate five of its contact tracers, who will work exclusively with the University.
UNM is expecting for its public, online dashboard to be up and running within a few weeks.
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