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APS enacts stronger COVID-safe practices as Santa Fe goes remote

Markus Winkler

Albuquerque Public Schools announced Tuesday that it will begin rolling out stronger COVID-safe practices district-wide in response to an uptick in cases.

The new requirements begin Wednesday, Jan. 19, and include outdoor mask-wearing, outdoor learning and eating when possible, staggered transition times, and restricted use of lockers and water fountains.

Only essential visitors will be allowed on campuses during the implementation of the stricter rules, including no spectators at school or sporting events for at least two weeks.

This shift comes as Santa Fe Public Schools began a week of remote learning Tuesday in response to its COVID positivity rate. The district’s students will return to schools Monday “if conditions improve.”

Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said in a Department of Healthonline COVID update earlier this month that students are safer learning from school.

“Case counts are always lower with kids in school than when they’re at home,” he said. “And we think that’s because it’s an environment where you have to wear your mask, you have to keep your distance.”

Both Scrase and APS emphasized the importance of parents keeping students who are displaying COVID symptoms home from school.

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays on KUNM, 5-7 p.m. MT). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.