State of New Mexico Releases Plan For Reopening Public Schools

Students taking a test in classroom

New Mexico's Public Education Department is outlining a path for how schools will reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Undera plan made publicTuesday, the state is requiring schools to open at 50% capacity.

Students will alternate between time in the classroom and continuing with online lessons at home.

Based on regional testing data, schools could be forced to close or allowed to fully open.

Regardless of infection numbers, children and staff will be required to wear masks and large gatherings like pep rallies are to be avoided.

Officials say the goal is to move into a full school schedule as soon as safely possible.

The following requirements will be in place for all schools: 

  • Large group gatherings will be avoided at school buildings;
  • Face coverings are required except while eating, drinking and exercising (with very limited exceptions for students and staff with medical conditions precluding wearing of a mask or face shield; those medical conditions must be documented);
  • Schools must adhere to social distancing requirements of their designated category;
  • All staff must be screened every day, including a temperature check and review of potential symptoms upon arrival at school;
  • All staff must participate in ongoing surveillance testing;
  • All sites must coordinate with local health officials to conduct contact tracing and rapid response testing;
  • All transportation staff and students boarding buses must wear face coverings;
  • Meals must be provided to students during both in-person instruction and remote learning.

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