NMPED Toolkit clarification update written on a chalkboard background.

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