The New Mexico Public Education Department has released the new guidance on masks and COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year.
The key takeaways are as follows:
- All individuals in elementary schools regardless of vaccination status are required to wear a mask while: in a school building, on school transportation or at an indoor school-sponsored event.
- Secondary school students, staff and volunteers who are fully vaccinated and provide documentation of full vaccination are not required to wear masks.
- Secondary school students, staff and volunteers who are unvaccinated (and those who do not provide documentation of full vaccination) are required to wear masks while: in a school building, on school transportation or at an indoor school-sponsored event.
- Masks are not required outdoors for any individual.
- Unvaccinated spectators are required to wear masks at indoor school events’ however, they are not required to provide evidence of vaccination status.
- Schools must identify the process for ensuring compliance with mask requirements, including posting signage in school facilities, announcing mask requirements at events and other necessary means for enforcement.
- Schools must advise individuals who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system to talk with their healthcare provider about steps that can be taken to manage the health risks.
“Until vaccinations are available to children of every age, it will be incumbent on each of us, in school environments, to do everything we can to minimize risk – and that includes face-coverings,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said.
According to the NMPED, schools must also maintain a voluntary student surveillance testing program with a weekly goal of testing 25% of unvaccinated students participating in sports and other extracurricular activities. In addition, All schools must also test 25% of unvaccinated staff members each week.
On Tuesday July 27th, the school board is to hold a Hybrid Board of Education meeting where one of the open topics will be the “Reentry Update” for the upcoming school year. During the update, some bullet points will be presented based on the release of the updated NMPED COVID-19 Response Toolkit. The Zoom link to view the meeting will be posted on the District’s website (www.clovis-schools.org.)
To see the updated COVID-19 Response Toolkit in full click here