New Mexico PED revises rules on COVID response in schools

Education

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The rules for quarantining after a COVID exposure in schools is changing. The Public Education Department on Wednesday announced a revised tool kit that reduces the required quarantine from 10 days to five days to align with CDC guidelines.

People who have a COVID exposure in school now have to quarantine for five days instead of 10 as long as their symptoms are not severe. Also teachers and staff must quarantine after a school exposure if they haven’t yet received their booster shot.

The latest numbers from the state show that’s a lot of them, with only 18% reporting being boosted. On Tuesday, there were 440 confirmed COVID cases in schools.

The big focus in weeks to come will be testing especially with the Test to Stay program for exposed students. The PED is helping districts that are overwhelmed with that in addition to contact tracing.

The PED secretary told KRQE News 13 they are doing everything they can to keep schools open. On Tuesday, Santa Fe Public Schools announced the district was going virtual for a week because 360 cases last week were affecting staffing levels.


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The PED secretary says they’re already working with that district to get back open by immediately sending more test kits. “The other thing I helped him with is looking at the data in every school in Santa Fe. Do we need to close the whole district or just a couple of schools or even more so, is it just one grade level in school,” asked PED Secretary Kurt Steinhaus.

Twelve of the state’s 187 schools have reached a 5% infection rate which means they’ll have to take enhanced COVID prevention measures. On Wednesday, Los Alamos High School announced it will voluntarily go to virtual learning for 10 days with 75 active cases in two weeks. That means sports will also be halted during that time.

Schools with 5% or more.

AGENCYSCHOOL NAMESTREET ADDRESSCITYCOUNTYPERCENT INFECTIOUS WHILE ON CAMPUS PAST 14 DAYS
NMPEDCIMARRON HIGH165 NORTH COLLISON AVECIMARRONCOLFAX8.54%
NMPEDCIMARRON MIDDLE132 NORTH COLLISON AVECIMARRONCOLFAX8.89%
NMPEDCORONADO HIGH1903 STATE HIGHWAY 96GALLINARIO ARRIBA5.36%
NMPEDDATIL ELEMENTARY7395 HWY 12DATILCATRON5.00%
NMPEDESCALANTE MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOLSTATEROUTE 531 1158CHAMARIO ARRIBA5.49%
NMPEDJAL HIGH100 PROPERTY STREETJALLEA9.64%
NMPEDLORDSBURG HIGH501 WEST FOURTH STLORDSBURGHILDAGO7.25%
NMPEDLOS ALAMOS HIGH1300 DIAMOND DRLOS ALAMOSLOS ALAMOS5.45%
NMPEDMAXWELL HIGH4TH ST AND PARQUEMAXWELLCOLFAX6.45%
NMPEDSAN JON HIGH7TH AND ELM STREETSSAN JONQUAY20.00%
NMPEDSAN JON MIDDLE SCHOOL7TH AND ELM STREETSSAN JONQUAY6.67%
NMPEDTAOS CYBER MAGNET310 CAMINO DE LA PLACITATAOSTAOS5.26%

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