NNMC COVID-19 Information   [Learn More]

NNMC Covid-19 Response

From: President Balderas
Re: COVID Protocols and Policies

Update: January 2023

Please be sure to stop when entering Northern New Mexico Campus and sign in at the thermal temperature areas to ensure that we are keeping staff, faculty and students safe and healthy!

If you are feeling sick, please stay home and do not attend work or class in person.

Review CDC guidance if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or test positive for the virus.

While COVID-19 testing remains at local pharmacies, there may be a charge. Home tests are available free online.

Vaccinations of all varieties, including COVID-19 and seasonal flu, are also available. Protect yourself and others by getting your booster.

Masks are recommended indoors. Please be respectful and tolerant of people’s choices to mask or not.

Masks are available at all thermal temperature stations.

The COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet monthly to discuss campus and community conditions, such as hospitalization rates and known infections, and will continue to recommend policies and procedures designed to keep the community healthy.


From: President Medina
Re: COVID Protocols and Policies

Update: October, 2022

NNMC Community,

Northern NM College is committed to a safe and healthy workplace.

To that end, our vaccination requirement is still in place for our staff, faculty, and students.

We encourage all staff, faculty and students to update their COVID vaccination with the bivalent boosters because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. 

As we head into cooler weather and season change we also encourage everyone to get a flu shot.

Masks are optional but strongly encouraged.  Masking helps us all stay safer and shows kindness to others, especially those more vulnerable. Those hosting events should have masks available.

Current COVID Protocols & CDC recommendations 

For the Public:

  • Please Mask-Up. Masking simply helps us all stay safer and shows kindness to others, especially those more vulnerable to Covid-19 and the variants.
  • The vaccination requirement is still in place and we recommend continued vaccination efforts.
  • Thermal Check stations: Please use the temperature checking devices and sign-in sheets at campus building entrances.
  • We have posted a symptoms checklist at our entrances and ask that if you confirm any of these, please do not enter our buildings or participate in public events.

NNMC Employees and students:

  • Vaccinations: The vaccination requirement is still in place, and the bivalent boosters are encouraged as a best practice.
  • Thermal Check stations: Please use the temperature checking devices and sign-in sheets at campus building entrances, and complete your daily symptom checklist.
  • Staffing Campus offices: Staff assignments and remote working are still at the discretion of supervisors and dependent on job function.
  • Work Travel requests: Travel requests will be reviewed by your supervisor.
  • Off-campus duties: We recommend the use of masks for College personnel during off-campus college-related duties.
  • Regarding face-to-face learning or hybrid learning: Face-to-face learning has resumed Fall 2022. The college and the Covid Response Team will continue to monitor the situation.

As part of a culture of caring and mutual protection, please continue to do the following:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Wear your mask in group settings.
  • Kindly honor the concerns of those at risk.
  • If you are sick, do not come to campus. If you test positive for COVID, please notify healthandsafety@nnmc.edu. We are still reporting and contact tracing COVID-19 cases.

Thank you for your support and cooperation. For more information, please monitor our COVID-19 Response webpage (nnmc.edu/covid19/).

Fall 2022 Class Schedule
Email: admissions@nnmc.edu
Phone: (505) 747-2111
Mail: Northern New Mexico College
921 Paseo de Oñate, Española, NM 87532


COVID testing is available in Española at the following locations:  Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Rio Arriba Health Commons and Aspen Urgent Care. The New Mexico Department of Health recommends calling to confirm testing availability and hours of operation.


Tuesdays • 8 AM – 2 PM
Lucero Center
313 Paseo de Onate, Española

Thursdays • 8 AM – 2 PM
Española City Hall
405 Paseo de Onate

Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM.
139 Longview Drive, White Rock

Please visit https://curative.com for more information and to make a testing appointment at one of their locations.


Anyone eligible for the vaccine should register at VaccineNM.org.

In addition, you can register with CVS directly (https://www.cvs.com/vaccine/intake/store/schedule-options) and the NMDOH website has other locations.

Users who have questions or would like support with the registration process – including New Mexicans who do not have internet access – can call 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.

DATE: February 17, 2022
RE: Lifting Indoor Mask Mandate

Northern Community,

“We are turning the corner, and learning a new way to live with COVID together. Thank you for taking care of your communities, your family, and each other,” said David R. Scrase, MD, Acting Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health. “We still need to be careful, get tested, get treatment.”

Effective immediately, we are lifting the indoor mask mandate at Northern.
Please continue to do the following:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Wear your mask in group settings.
  • Kindly honor the concerns of those at risk.
  • Use the thermo scans at the entrances and complete your daily symptom checklist.

If you are sick, do not come to campus. If you test COVID positive, notify healthandsafety@nnmc.edu; we are still going to report and contact trace COVID-19 cases.

Vaccination is still a requirement at Northern.

Staff assignments and remote work will remain at the discretion of your immediate supervisor and according to job function.

We will monitor conditions and update our policies as needed. The COVID-19 Response Team at Northern is mindful that we have lost more than 5000 New Mexicans and many survivors continue to suffer long-term effects.

Thank you for your support and cooperation. For more information, please monitor this webpage  (nnmc.edu/covid19/).

DATE: JANUARY 28, 2022
RE: COVID UPDATE & Building Access Protocols

During the pandemic, Northern New Mexico College is following CDC and NMDOH guidelines for testing, isolation and quarantine protocols: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

In the interest of safety during the current omicron surge, NNMC will be limiting access to the following buildings:

  • Montoya Administration Building: Please enter only via the main entrance by the Rotunda or the north entrance by Receiving.
  • Nursing Building: Enter only via the main entrance.
  • Gym: Enter only via the main entrance.

Upon entering these buildings (other entrances will be updated in the coming weeks), everyone must:

  • Record their temperature using the digital Thermal Check Station. Instructions are posted by the device. NOTE: This is NOT a COVID test.
  • Assist contact tracing by:

Please remember:

  • Everyone must show proof of vaccination or an approved exemption to access campus facilities, events, programs, services and activities in person.
  • Masks are required at all times in Northern’s buildings. We recommend that you upgrade your mask to N95 or KN95 as per CDC guidance.

For more information and NNMC's COVID protocols:

Thank you all for working together to help protect the health and safety of our campus community!

Northern New Mexico College
COVID Health and Safety Standards
2021-22 Academic Year

Administrative Mandate Originally Issued: August 23, 2021
Board of Regents Affirmed:  October 12, 2021
Updated:  January 2022


To protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the NNMC community: Until further notice, only vaccinated NNMC officials, employees, and students are allowed to access College facilities, events, and programs, as well as invited guests who are fully vaccinated with proof of vaccination.

NNMC Mask/Face Covering Policy

Research shows that transmission of COVID-19 is greatly reduced and lives are saved when all individuals wear face coverings while in public. Vaccination is also an effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is the shared responsibility of the entire NNMC community to protect not only their health but the health of those who are most vulnerable for serious illness and death from COVID-19.

This guidance is separate and distinct from the NNMC’s Vaccination Policy (see below). Please refer to that policy for more information about vaccination requirements at the college.

Northern New Mexico College requires masks to be worn indoors by all individuals on both campuses, as well as at any college-related off-campus activities. Masks must be worn in any indoor group setting, including classrooms.

All students, faculty, staff and visitors should wear their masks at all times in Northern’s buildings unless they are eating, drinking, or in an office alone. Please help us continue good public health practices (handwashing; staying home when ill; physical distancing, when possible; mask-wearing, etc.) so we all stay safe and healthy.

Some exceptions to the mask mandate:

  • someone who is unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
  • a person granted a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • while giving a speech for broadcast or an audience while maintaining physical distance of at least twelve feet from others (this exception does not apply to classroom instruction)
  • when asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.

NNMC Vaccination Policy

To protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the College community, Northern New Mexico College requires that all faculty, staff, students and visitors accessing College facilities, events and programs be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

This mandate, effective October 15, 2021, requires all NNMC faculty, staff, students and visitors who access campus facilities, events, programs, services and activities in person to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to limited exemptions as noted below.

Proof of full vaccination must be provided to the NNMC Health and Safety Officer at healthandsafety@nnmc.edu.

  • Students, faculty, and staff who complete their vaccination protocols after October 15, 2021, will be allowed access to College facilities, events, and programs once proof of full vaccination is provided to the NNMC Health and Safety Officer at healthandsafety@nnmc.edu.
  • Exemptions will be considered on a limited and narrow basis. Please see the section “Accommodations/Exemptions” below for details.
  • Off-campus Activities: If your duties to the College require you to be physically present off campus at a gathering of any kind, you are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of full vaccination status must be provided to the NMMC Health and Safety Officer at healthandsafety@nnmc.edu, unless the college grants an exemption as noted below.


  • This vaccine requirement has been implemented starting August 15, 2021 and applies to all visitors to NNMC campuses and activities. NNMC personnel and students who access NNMC facilities, programs, events, services and activities located on both the Española Campus and the El Rito Campus are required to provide proof of vaccination. This mandate remains in place until June 30, 2022, is subject to be periodically revised, and may be extended beyond June 30, 2022.
  • Campus facilities include, but are not limited to, office buildings, libraries, classrooms, research laboratories, dining facilities, residence halls, student center, athletics facilities, entertainment venues, gymnasiums, and College transportation.
  • In addition to required vaccinations, COVID-safe practices are currently in force and must be followed at all locations listed above in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH)


  • NNMC students, faculty, and staff may apply for medical or religious exemptions to this vaccination mandate. Each exemption application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Application for an exemption does not guarantee approval. Those requesting a vaccine exemption should complete either an NNMC Medical Condition Accommodation Request or an NNMC Religious Accommodation Request.
  • Prior to coming to class or work, NNMC students, faculty, and staff who are granted an exemption will only be permitted to access College facilities for educational purposes, participation as a member of an athletic team or staff, or for on-duty employment purposes. Any granted exemption does not apply to attendance of extracurricular or spectator activities or events. In order for the exemption to remain valid and still in effect, NNMC students, faculty, and staff who are granted an exemption will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID test to healthandsafety@nnmc.edu by Thursday at 5 pm each school week. The test results must be dated within 72 hours of submission to be considered valid and sufficient. If health and safety conditions warrant it, multiple negative COVID test results may be required to be submitted each week.
  • NNMC students, faculty, and staff who are granted an exemption must follow all COVID-safe practices currently in force and must follow these practices at all College locations and at all off campus locations while engaged in College activities in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) mandates.
  • Failure to comply with COVID-safe practices, as described below, during College activities may result in revocation of the granted exemption or revocation of the accommodation for a granted exemption.


  • Exceptions to the campus closure to public access will be on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the College President or the College President’s designee. Examples include restricted access for contractors, vendors, and pick-up and delivery services. In such instances, restricted access will be considered upon proof of vaccination.


  • Masks are required indoors per CDC guidance and NMDOH mandates.
  • If you begin to feel ill while on campus, please leave campus immediately. If your symptoms are COVID-related (i.e. fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) please immediately get tested for COVID-19 and notify healthandsafety@nnmc.edu.
  • If you have been on campus and test positive for COVID-19, please email healthandsafety@nnmc.edu to assist the College in performing contact tracing.
  • If you see someone on campus who is violating the Mandated On-Campus COVID Protocols, or who appears to be ill, please notify healthandsafety@nnmc.edu.
  • If you are unsure about possible signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or have general questions about the virus, please read the resources and watch the videos provided at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html


From the President

Since March 2020, Northern New Mexico College has served as a role model for the thoughtful and thorough way we have endured the pandemic. Because of your teamwork, commitment to each other, and steadfast resolve, we can be proud of the fact that not a single positive COVID case ever originated from either campus. Put simply, all of us have kept our team, and our families, as safe as possible.

The proliferation of variants and the re-emergence of increased case numbers means we cannot ease up now. We must continue to be aggressive, not only for the health and safety of our own teammates, but for our families and the community we serve.  Remember, many outside our college are looking to us to define the standards.  These standards mean a little more sacrifice on our part, but it will be well worth the effort.

Please know that these standards and protocols, effective immediately, are being implemented with one simple, unchanging focus – to keep us all safe and healthy.  Thanks in advance for your understanding and your commitment.

Ultimately, the decision to implement these standards is bigger than the College.  We all need to count on each other, now more than ever. Team Northern, thank you for everything you have done so far to help us endure the crisis.  We are doing a great job – let's keep up the effort, and keep each other safe and healthy.  I have no doubt that we will come out of this stronger than ever.

Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.