Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

District exceeds 500 COVID-19 cases

LAS CRUCES – The total number of cases in Las Cruces public schools has remained constant, but two schools saw cases increase over the past week

There were 45 positive tests in the week of October 6-12, similar to the 48 cases from the previous week.

The two schools that saw high increases were Highland Elementary with eight cases and Organ Mountain High with nine cases.

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LCPS’s new COVID-19 system tracks cases by school and records the percentage of positive cases relative to the number of students and staff in the buildings.

In the past two weeks, Highland Elementary (1.19 percent) and Mesa Middle (0.81 percent) were the schools with the highest percentage of new COVID-19 cases.

The system reported that there have been 515 positive cases since school started on August 9.

Cumulative district data

Overall, about 2.48 percent of the students and employees of the LCPS tested positive for COVID-19 this school year – 2.85 percent of the employees and 2.33 percent of the students.

Of the 515 positive cases in the district, 411 are students and 104 are employees or contractors, according to the new dashboard.

Mayfield High still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 32, but OMHS is now right behind at 31. Five other schools have 20 or more cases: Camino Real Middle has 27; Highland Elementary has 26; Mesa Middle has 24; Monte Vista Elementary has 21; and Centennial High and Sonoma Elementary each have 20. The Las Cruces district administration designation is also listed for 26 cases.

The new COVID-19 dashboard from LCPS can be found at lcps.net/returnplan/covidnews.html.

COVID-19 Rapid Response by District

There are currently no rapid responses in the Gadsden Independent School District, according to the New Mexico Environmental Department’s Rapid Response Tracker.

Hatch Valley Public Schools has two quick answers at Hatch Valley High School.

In total, LCPS has 32.

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A quick response means one or more people tested positive for COVID-19 and were contagious on campus. All cases reported to a school on a single day, as well as all cases with test dates until the next day, are summarized in a single quick reaction.

The New Mexico Public Education Department announced on Aug. 19 that schools will not have to close if it receives four quick responses in 14 days, which was the previous policy.

Mayfield High currently has four rapid reactions but will not be closed according to the updated guidelines.

Instead, the State Department will work with schools to introduce improved COVID-safe practices that will sustain personal learning as much as possible. It is at a district’s discretion whether or not to convert a school to distance learning unless the Department of Health intervenes.

Eleven schools across the state have four quick responses. Check out the NMED website for quick responses at env.nm.gov/rapid-response-data/.

Miranda Cyr, a member of the Report for America corps, can be reached at [email protected] or @mirandabcyr on Twitter. Show your support for the Report for America program at https://bit.ly/LCSNRFA.

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