Threat of COVID-19 at UNM appears to be limited

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico is reporting about two cases of COVID-19 per day.

However, school officials say the virus is not spread in the dorms or classrooms.

"If you look at the number of people on campus, compared to this number of positives, it’s a positivity rate of .25 percent, so it’s really quite low,” said Dr. James Paul Holloway, provost of Academic Affairs at UNM.

Holloway says only 4% of classes are face-to-face. The other classes are online or hybrid.

Holloway noted Thursday that enrollment has dropped.

"This is not the educational experience they signed up for with COVID," he said. "Folks moved heaven and earth to keep some of these students enrolled, and I think were very successful, but it’s still the case students are taking less (classes), it’s going to extend their time to graduation and again, very difficult impacts form COVID.”

Holloway doesn’t believe a lot of younger students want to learn online.

He also shared a faculty survey which shows the pandemic was having a negative impact on their mental health.

"There’s a lot of work to do here, but I do want to flag it for folks to know our faculty are incredibly stressed,” Holloway said.

Holloway says a lot of staff that are eligible are getting vaccinated.

In the meantime, the school is working on a post-pandemic plan to bring students back. It has launched a campaign to see why some students dropped out.