SANTA FE (KSMX)- New Mexico’s governor has announced Thursday that K-12 grade schools will close for three weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
According to the Associated Press, public health officials also banned mass gatherings that involve 100 or more people in spaces such as stadiums or auditoriums as a way to limit the spread of the virus.
The moves came as the state confirmed a sixth positive test for coronavirus for a woman in her 50s from Santa Fe County who recently traveled to Italy, where more than 800 deaths have been linked to COVID-19.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a news release that the extended closure will begin at the end of the school day Friday. Many public school districts had shorter spring breaks scheduled next week.
“New Mexico is not going to wait as long as some other states to make the hard decisions about this pandemic,” the governor said in one announcement Thursday. On Wednesday, she declared a public health emergency to help secure emergency provisions and personnel and to enforce health directives.
Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said the extended schools’ closure is designed to guard against the spread of COVID-19 within communities. Five of the six infections in New Mexico have a confirmed travel link, and a possible travel component is under investigation of a woman in her 40s from Bernalillo County who also tested positive Thursday.