APS announces enhanced COVID-19 safe procedures districtwide

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Starting tomorrow, APS is enacting new districtwide safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID.

In the last weekly update, Albuquerque Public Schools reported more than a thousand COVID cases across 120 schools. Now district leaders said all schools must follow updated COVID safety practices starting Wednesday, Jan. 19.

"Being outdoors in classes as much as possible, eating outside as much as possible as weather allows, essential visitors only into the school," said Dr. Gabriella Blakey, APS Chief Operation Officer.

Blakey said these protocols were introduced last semester, geared at schools with rising case counts, but now it’ll be going districtwide for two weeks.

Other measures include:

  • Wearing properly fitted masks outdoors as well as indoors
  • Students facing one way in classrooms and the cafeteria
  • Keeping students in cohorts
  • No spectators at school events, including athletics, through Feb. 2
  • Prohibiting large group gatherings, including assemblies
  • Staggering transition times and recesses
  • Closing drinking fountains (though students can still fill water bottles)
  • Restricting locker use

"We really felt like if we do this now it will open up so that in a couple weeks we can get back to a place where we can maintain the season for our winter athletes, we can have those spring activities for seniors, you know, everyone wants to have graduation," said Blakey.

KOB 4 asked APS officials if remote learning was still on the table.

“We don’t have a formula for that, we really know that we need to keep kids in school as much as we can,” Blakey replied.

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