ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Eldorado High School is shutting down for the next two weeks because of COVID-19 cases. Albuquerque Public Schools sent a letter to parents Monday saying several students have tested positive for the virus. The district says all the cases, except one, appear to have been contracted off-campus.
“We knew there would be cases, because it’s just not realistic to think COVID can exist everywhere but public schools,” said APS spokesperson Monica Armenta.
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According to the state’s public health orders and the New Mexico Public Education Department, they’ve had four cases in all and a shutdown is required after four or more cases in a two-week period. Starting Tuesday, all Eldorado students will go back to online learning which officials expect to be a seamless transition.
“Remote learning is what students are most familiar with right now because that’s what they’ve been doing the last year, so they have all their tools at hand,” Armenta said.
Classes will resume on April 28, sports will also have to take a two-week pause. Grab-and-go meals will be available on the east parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. APS also says students who have registered for the SAT will return to campus on Tuesday, April 27, to take the test.
According to NMPED, Eldorado High had Rapid Responses on March 29, April 2, April 6, and April 10. NMPED says a school or business with two Rapid Responses in 14 days goes on the Rapid Response Watchlist and those that reach four Rapid Responses in the same time frame go on the department’s Closure List. APS says Rapid Responses include students or staff members who were on campus while infected and it is not related to re-entry mode.
Read the full APS letter below:
Dear Eldorado Students, Families and Staff:
Eldorado High School will close its campus and switch to remote learning for two weeks beginning Tuesday, April 13, after several students tested positive for COVID-19. Students registered for the SAT will return to campus on Tuesday, April 27, to take the test. All other students may return for in-person learning on Wednesday, April 28. All students will be going back to the remote learning
bell schedule beginning tomorrow for the next two weeks. The remote learning bell schedule is attached.
The campus is being closed following public health orders and closure order from the New Mexico Public Education Department, which requires schools to close within seven days of multiple positive cases to keep the virus from spreading. EHS is following New Mexico Department of Health protocols put in place in anticipation of possible virus spread during in-person learning.
All but one of the positive COVID cases at Eldorado appear to have occurred off-campus. All practices, activities, and competitions have been canceled for two weeks. Practices are scheduled to resume on April 27 and competition shortly after that.
Students and staff in close contact with those who tested positive will be notified, if they haven’t already, and are expected to quarantine for 10 days as required by the Department of Health. A “close contact” in a school is defined as:
• All students and staff who were in the same classroom as the infected individual
• All students and staff who were on the same bus as the infected individual
• All students and staff who came within six feet of the infected individual (even while wearing a mask) for longer than three minutes.
Please remember that quarantining means avoiding all public contact, not just school-related activities.
It is strongly recommended that students and families who have been in close contact with an infected individual take a COVID-19 test. There are two free tests available to the public:
• Vault At-Home COVID Test (https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/)
• Curative Oral Swab COVID Test (https://curative.com)
Students who test positive are asked to let the school know as soon as possible. Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell, are asked to call their healthcare provider or the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-855-600-3453, press 8.
Students can drive through the east parking lot to pick up grab-and-go meals from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every school day for the next two weeks. The district also offers weekly grab-and-go meal distribution every Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at APS Food and Nutrition headquarters, 800 Louisiana Blvd NE, and the West Mesa Aquatic Center, 6705 Fortuna Road NW.
Other than to pick up grab-and-go meals, students shouldn’t be on campus for the next two weeks. Teachers and staff may work on campus if they follow COVID safe practices, including wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large groups.
You may call the school at (505) 296-4871 if you have questions or concerns. Please remember that we are obligated to protect the privacy of the infected individuals and cannot identify them or provide information about their medical situation. Thank you for your understanding.
You can learn more about COVID-19 by visiting the Department of Health’s website at cv.nmhealth.org.
As always, we appreciate your support of our students and staff at Eldorado.Principle of Eldorado High School Martín C. Sandoval