ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Roswell Independent Schools now have four schools closed due to the number of COVID-19 cases increasing. The four schools are Goddard High School, El Capitan Elementary, Valley View Elementary, and as of late Tuesday afternoon, Roswell High School announced they will voluntarily close and switch to virtual learning starting Wednesday.

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A total of 11 Roswell schools are on the state’s watch list. The district’s superintendent Brian luck says he’s frustrated with how the system works when it comes to the way cases are counted. “When they say fours cases everybody just assumes that’s just four people, in the case of Goddard high school their four cases probably incorporated 20 to 25 kids,” Luck said.

One rapid response is one or more cases in a 24-hour period. That means you can have 24 people test positive one day and that counts as one, but only have one positive case another day and that’s also counted as one.

Four rapid responses and the state requires a closure. “I’ll be honest that I think that the easiest thing to do is you get so frustrated that we throw our hands up our kids being back in the classroom is too important,” said Luck. “We knew it was coming we just didn’t anticipate it’d be quite this early.”

The New Mexico Public Education Department says they applaud the decisions local school leaders are making as an important part of our state strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep as many schools open as possible.

Two schools in Roswell and Los Lunas High are the only three required to be shut down by the state. Other schools have voluntarily shut down because of cases, including some charter schools, Carlsbad High and Questa. Mountainair delayed its start of the year because of cases among staff.