NMPED Updates Guidance for Test to Stay

The New Mexico Public Education Department has updated the toolkit for district guidance regarding Test to Stay and reporting positive COVID-19 cases. Individuals returning to school from five days of self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 MUST wear a mask for days 6-10 following their return to school. 

Those participating in Test to Stay are highly recommended to wear a mask during Test to Stay. Test to Stay may include those with community exposure, to include household exposure. Students who participate in Test to Stay who are continuously exposed to a positive individual at home, must participate in Test to Stay for 10 days from date of the household member’s positive test.

Two rapid antigen tests taken 24-48 hours apart may be used to rule out COVID-19 in symptomatic individuals. Over-the-counter rapid antigen COVID-19 tests taken at home may be used for all testing requirements when accompanied with a signed assurance form.

 A negative PCR test with a sample collected within 48 hours of a positive at-home rapid COVID test would negate the positive test and would not require continued self-isolation based off of the at-home rapid COVID-19 test. This only applies to those persons who are asymptomatic and not considered a close contact.

Over-the-counter rapid antigen tests may be used for surveillance testing with a signed assurance form. Surveillance testing will no longer require testing to be done in the presence of a staff member. Please find the attached over-the-counter rapid antigen testing assurance form to be used for reporting and surveillance testing. The over-the-counter rapid antigen testing assurance form can be also be accessed here.

With the new toolkit, the following requirements have been lifted:

  • The requirement for bell covers on wind instruments is lifted.
  • The restriction on unvaccinated individuals sharing sleeping quarters is lifted.
  • Isolation rooms for COVID-19 are no longer required.
  • Non-essential visitors, school-related events including assemblies, dances, award ceremonies, academic competitions, extracurricular events and field trips are permissible.

Las Cruces High School and Organ Mountain High School will be open Monday-Friday as a COVID-19 testing site during the Spring Break holiday from 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. for individuals in need of a COVID-19 test. The last day to receive testing at Mesa Middle School will be March 18, and will close as a testing site after that date due to a low turnout for testing.