UNM starts new contact tracing initiative

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico is starting a new initiative that will help with contact tracing on campus. Starting Friday the University will begin keeping track of anyone entering high-traffic buildings on campus.

“We’re trying to track who’s been in those buildings or that in the event there is a positive individual in those buildings, we can assist with contact tracing,” said Carla Domenici, COVID-19 Coordinator for UNM.

Lobo-cards and drivers licenses will be scanned, to track everyone’s entrance into areas like the Student Union Building or libraries. For people with an I.D. that cannot be scanned, an attendant will manually take the information and share it with the Department of health.

They say the shared location entry tracking will help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, because if someone who has been in one of those locations tests positive the Department of Health will be able to contact anyone who may have been exposed.

Students have mixed feelings about the idea. ” It’s tracking, it feels like a control issue,” said UNM student Lamar Wilk.

“I think it’s a good idea. It’s a good way to manage people on campus at the moment, it’ll be a good way to keep track of all that,” said Epheren Zerai a sophomore at UNM.

The University says Johnson Center and La Posada dining hall are also being considered as locations for the I.D. tracking technology. UNM stresses that the data collected from the entry tracking initiative will not be saved permanently.

KRQE News 13 asked if they intend to keep the technology in place after COVID-19 as a security measure, UNM says right now their only focus is using it for contact tracing.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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