During the week of March 7, the New Mexico Public Education Department released an update to their COVID-19 Response Toolkit for New Mexico Public Schools. We wanted to reach out to you today with some clarification about a few of the updates included in the newest toolkit.
Over-The-Counter Test Kits (At-Home Rapid Test Kits)
Per page 17 of the updated toolkit, “Over-the-counter rapid antigen COVID tests taken at home may be used for all testing requirements, including surveillance testing, when accompanied with a signed assurance from the individual tested, or the individual’s parent if the individual has not yet reached 18 years of age.”
Over-the-counter test kits may now be used for those who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. In order for a symptomatic individual to receive clearance to return to school, they must have two negative rapid antigen tests taken 24-48 hours apart. PCR tests may still be used for symptomatic clearance.
If you are using an over-the-counter test kit for you or your child, you may find the RRPS Testing Assurance Document online at our School Reentry web page or directly at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WHrHV1wTmF4sC9RdThN8IDTQ-mpx0vfs/view?usp=sharing for English and https://drive.google.com/file/d/16CxB6xJz7ApsOaysgqkdyYN17CL4zbj_/view?usp=sharing for Spanish.
Masking Required for Positive Individuals on Days 6-10
Per page 15 of the updated toolkit, “it is required that those who are returning to school from a COVID infection after five days of self-isolation wear masks at school and at all school activities, from day six through 10 to reduce the risk of COVID transmission.”
Anyone returning after a COVID infection must wear an NMPED compliant face mask for days six through 10. Compliant face masks are at least 2 layers and cover the full nose and mouth. Masks cannot have exhalation valves and neck gaiters are not permitted.
Staff & Student Surveillance Programs
The student surveillance program is no longer being offered within Rio Rancho Public Schools and the requirement from the PED to have a student surveillance program has been lifted.
The staff surveillance program is still in place and is mandatory for all unvaccinated RRPS staff members. Over-the-counter tests may now be used for surveillance testing along with the signed assurance document.
Test to Stay Program
Rio Rancho Public Schools will still offer the Test to Stay Program for the remainder of the 21-22 School Year.
The Test to Stay Program may now be used for those with community exposure to COVID-19. However, this does not apply to those exposed to a COVID positive individual residing in the same household.
The Test to Stay Program now allows the use of over-the-counter tests when accompanied by a signed assurance document.
The above changes represent only a small number of the updates included in the newest version of the NMPED toolkit. To read through the full toolkit update, please visit our School Reentry web page at: https://www.rrps.net/page/school-reentry-updates