Residents at Lobo Rainforest seek more transparency from UNM after student tested positive | KOB 4

Residents at Lobo Rainforest seek more transparency from UNM after student tested positive

Joy Wang
Updated: October 21, 2020 10:34 PM
Created: October 21, 2020 09:57 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Residents of Lobo Rainforest are seeking more transparency from UNM after a student tested positive at the dorms. 

UNM student Sydney Garnenez said she found out about the case from social media Tuesday morning, and was hoping to hear something from the university.

“We looked at our email just to see if maybe possibly that UNM has taken part in trying to do something or even just as little as notifying residents in this area, but then nothing of that sort was posted,” she said.

This semester has been tough on a lot of students and Garnenez said the lack of communication from the university only adds to the anxiety.

“It's already a hard time where students are confined to a room and not really, like, experiencing how college life is, you know, supposed to feel like,” Garnenez said. “But I think without them notifying in a way of like trying to tell students—it just makes them feel scared.”

UNM sent KOB 4  a statement that said the university can’t confirm an individual’s COVID-19 positive status or where that individual may be living because student records are protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. They will notify only the specific students who may have been exposed. 

According to UNM’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 101 positive cases so far. The facility’s maintenance site showed two facilities as potential exposure areas.

Other students and Rainforest residents like Clayton Yazzie said they’re also concerned about outbreaks among students who are already vulnerable.

“Our fifth and sixth floor are all housing for Native American like Navajo students,” he said. “What we didn't want to happen was have a case here and then like, let's just say hypothetically like there was like an outbreak, and a whole bunch of these students want to go back home, they don't want to be here anymore. So they'll go back to like the reservation Navajo Nation area and then could possibly have another spike within Navajo Nation."

Both Yazzie and Garnenez said they don’t have any COVID symptoms, but plan to get tested just in case.


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