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Viewers of an online town hall Tuesday got a preview of the new VaxTrax platform that the New Mexico State University system will use to track documentation of COVID-19 vaccination and testing for employees and students.
By Sept. 30, all NMSU system students and employees must become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or begin to undergo weekly testing, the university announced in August. Since that announcement, developers have been working to create a system for accepting, securely storing, verifying, and reviewing the vaccine and testing documentation submitted by students, faculty and staff.
The resulting site, at vaxtrax.nmsu.edu, went fully live on Wednesday, Sept. 15, to accept CDC vaccination cards or other proof of vaccination. After Sept. 30, those choosing to take weekly tests should begin uploading on Thursdays. The first testing upload must be complete by midnight on Oct. 7 – one week after the mandate is effective.
Jon Webster, NMSU COVID-19 project manager, said it’s important for students and employees to be patient if they are not able to upload their information immediately.
“Our Information and Communication Technology team has worked hard to ensure that the site can handle a high volume of activity,” Webster said. “But it’s possible that we may have thousands of vaccine card submissions attempted at the same time, so we may see some lag if this happens. Please be patient and try again later.”
The platform is only accessible for uploading documentation through NMSU’s private network, so students and employees will need to either use an on-campus computer or use NMSU’s Virtual Private Network to access the site. For information about accessing NMSU’s VPN, visit vpn.nmsu.edu.
A user guide for accessing and using the VaxTrax portal is available on the NMSU Now pandemic action plan site, at now.nmsu.edu/vax/vaxtrax-guide.html.
Weekly COVID-19 test results must come from either antigen or PCR tests – antibody tests are not accepted. Free at-home testing is available to New Mexico residents from Vault Health. More information is available at learn.vaulthealth.com/nm. In addition, COVID-19 testing is currently available at no cost from many providers, including Doña Ana Community College’s East Mesa campus and Aggie Health and Wellness Center at the Las Cruces campus (for students, faculty, and staff only). Presbyterian Medical Services provides free antigen testing at its Family Health Center locations in Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Grants. Other testing sites across New Mexico, many of which offer testing at no cost, are listed at New Mexico Department of Health.
Those vaccinated in New Mexico can replace a lost vaccine card by emailing COVID.Vaccines@state.nm.us.
Staff will monitor vaccine and testing compliance through the VaxTrax portal, and students or employees who do not provide appropriate documentation will be subject to corrective action, Webster said. For employees, this may involve warnings or more serious consequences such as suspension without pay, demotion or termination of employment. For students, consequences may include disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct.
For more information about the NMSU system’s pandemic action plan, NMSU Now, visit now.nmsu.edu.