Eddy County doesn’t meet NMPED requirements to return to school

On September 3, the New Mexico Public Education Department announced the amended criteria for reentry. NMPED’s Reentry Guidance provides considerations, recommendations, and best practices to encourage a safe and successful school year. We also learned that Eddy County is not currently meeting the criteria or reentry guidelines to proceed to Hybrid mode on September 8th as planned. Artesia Public Schools released the following:

“As we learned this afternoon, Eddy County is not currently meeting the criteria in regard to COVID-19 cases to return to school in the Hybrid mode September 8th as we had hoped.  Our average number of cases per day and positivity rate currently exceed the targets that have been set.  However, I am hopeful COVID-safe practices in our county including the wearing of masks, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, diligent hand-washing, staying home when sick, and avoiding large gatherings will bring our numbers down allowing us to get more kids back in school soon.

We are anticipating that the status of each county will be updated every other Thursday.  When Eddy County meets the criteria to be considered green making us eligible to return to school in the Hybrid mode, we will take one week to make the transition.  So, the Thursday/Friday group of students will be the first to attend in the Hybrid mode.  Please watch for more information on the transition.”

The following are important minimum requirements for all reentry.

The eight minimum requirements for reentry are:

  1.  To begin, all districts and schools across the state will be able to operate strictly according to hybrid guidelines. The Department of Health and Medical Advisory Team will regularly assess rates of
    the spread of COVID-19. Districts and schools will then follow the appropriate guidelines based on the designated safe reentry category.
  2. Schools must participate in a surveillance and rapid response testing program for all staff.
  3. Schools must adhere to the social distancing requirements of their designated category.
  4. Schools should avoid large group gatherings.
  5. Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield.
  6. All staff must be screened on a daily basis, including a temperature check and review of potential symptoms. All sites must work with state and local health officials to have a plan for contact tracing. While not required, this is also recommended for students.
  7. For transportation, all staff and students must wear face shields or masks. In addition:a. A maximum of two students may sit together on a bus seat.
    b. Schools in the yellow category should take all reasonable stepsto limit bus seats to one student to the best of their ability.
  8. Meals must be provided to students during in-person instruction and remote learning.

Access the full document here.

Source: NM Public Education Department
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