NMPED will not require schools to close at four Rapid Responses

SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Public Education Department announced changes to their COVID-19 Rapid Response protocols Thursday.

Upon reaching four Rapid Responses in 14 days, NMPED will not require schools to close. The department will instead work toward maintaining in-person as much as possible for schools by implementing COVID-safe practices.

“Our medical advisors have noted that schools currently are not hotbeds of COVID-19 infections,” NMPED Secretary Designate Kurt Steinhaus said. “At this point, we are not closing schools. The caveat is that the virus could change things, but we need to do what’s best for kids, which is to keep in-person learning to the extent possible.”

New Mexico schools were previously required to return to remote learning upon reaching four Rapid Responses in 14 days.

NMPED considers a Rapid Response to be one or more positive cases at a school that were infectious while on-campus.

At this time, 18 schools have informed the NMPED that they are voluntarily and temporarily moving to remote instruction.