NMSU ending option of COVID-19 testing; vaccination required

LAS CRUCES, N.M (AP) — New Mexico State University will require all students on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 1, ending the option of submitting weekly tests as an alternative, the university announced Monday.

Chancellor Dan Arvizu also said in a memo to students, faculty and staff that NMSU no longer will require weekly testing for students and employees who decided against getting a booster or received an exemption from vaccination.

The new policy, which also applies at all branch colleges, reflects a similar change in October for staff. It requires new and/or transfer students to provide their COVID-19 vaccination records or an approved exemption by Aug. 1.

Arvizu said more than 91% of students and 99% of faculty are now vaccinated.

“Our community fought the battle against COVID-19,” he said.

“After consulting with the New Mexico Department of Health, guidance from the CDC, peers at other universities, and experts within the NMSU community, we are making some changes to our policies to align with current practices and recommendations,” he said.

Arvizu cited the time-consuming nature of the test-monitoring process and uncertainty about the future availability of free tests as reasons for dropping the weekly testing requirement, which will end May 5.