SFPS Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez said that SFPS will continue COVID-19 safe practices in schools as recommended by the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) and CDC following the expiration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s COVID-19 executive order on Friday, March 31. In addition, through April, SFPS will continue with contract tracing.
Governor Lujan Grisham said in a new release, “New Mexicans now have the tools needed to continue fighting COVID-19, including vaccines, testing, treatments and other mitigation measures like masking, indoor ventilation and social distancing. I urge all New Mexicans, and particularly those who are older or who have compromised immune systems, to get vaccinated or get their booster shots if they have not done so already.”
Superintendent Chavez said, “Student safety is our highest priority. To ensure COVID-19 remains manageable in our schools, students who test positive will continue being sent home to isolate for five days and will need to stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours and their symptoms improve.”
As recommended by DOH and the CDC:
SFPS students or staff who were exposed to COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting mask and get tested.
SFPS students or staff who come to school with symptoms or develop symptoms while at school will be asked to wear a well-fitting mask or respirator while in the building, sent home and encouraged to get tested.
Those who are symptomatic but who cannot wear a mask will be separated from others as much as possible.
Individuals with moderate to severe COVID or who are immune compromised should isolate for 10 days.
Once isolation has ended, a well-fitting mask or respirator should be worn around others through day 10.
High-touch surfaces will be cleaned regularly with soap and water or with appropriate cleaning products.
Superintendent Chavez said that SFPS will decide how to manage exposures based on the local context and benefits of preserving access to in-person learning.
SFPS may declare an outbreak if a particular school population (e.g., sports team, choir, grade level, etc.) is experiencing increased COVID-19 infections above the general baseline of infections and may add additional prevention strategies at the school.
SFPS may also consider suspending high-risk activities to control a school- or program-associated outbreak.
If SFPS requires students to isolate, academic support and instruction will be provided for the days they would have been at school. Students may engage in online/remote instruction from home or be provided with instructional packets.