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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Cases & Quarantines
1) How do I report a positive case?
ANSWER: Report positive COVID-19 cases for students or staff within Rio Rancho Public Schools by clicking on the button below:
2) What happens when you have a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school or RRPS facility?
ANSWER: For all cases, once a positive test is confirmed, the NM Department of Health and NM Public Education Department are contacted, contact tracing is conducted, and all affected students’ parents and staff members are notified by the school district. Those deemed "Close Contacts" will receive a phone call directly from RRPS with quarantine or testing instructions. For each positive case, the district will send a letter via email to all parents and guardians, and also to staff, notifying them of the positive test and providing instructions. In addition to notifications, upon confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case, our Facilities Department works to complete appropriate disinfection and follow all disinfection protocols/procedures. RRPS also updates the Cases & Quarantines Status web page once a case is confirmed.
3) How is RRPS defining a "Close Contact" when a positive COVID-19 case is identified?
ANSWER: RRPS is using the NM Public Education Department (NMPED) definition of a "Close Contact," which, as of July 26 (page 4 of the toolkit), is anyone who:
Over a 24-hour period, has a cumulative exposure of 15 minutes or longer within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case with or without a face covering.
Exceptions: In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition EXCLUDES students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student where: 1) both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting face masks; and 2) other K-12 school prevention strategies were in place in the K-12 school setting.
4) If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a school or RRPS Facility, will there always be a closure of the facility?
ANSWER: No. The NM Department of Health and/or the NM Public Education Department, along with our Rapid Response Team, will conduct contact tracing to determine if a full school, wing of a school, classroom or specific area of a school must be closed for disinfection. This will vary based on the locations accessed by the person with the confirmed COVID-19 case and their movements.
5) Will all students and staff automatically be placed on a 10-Day quarantine if they were in the area where a confirmed COVID-19 patient was located?
ANSWER: No. RRPS, will conduct contact tracing to determine who, if anyone, was in close contact with the confirmed COVID-19 positive individual and must go on a 10-day quarantine. Those individuals will be notified by phone of that requirement. Students placed on a quarantine will continue their learning on a fully remote platform until they are cleared to come back to school. Staff placed on quarantine, whenever possible, will also continue their work remotely from their homes until their quarantine period is completed.
6) Is a quarantine mandatory and does it mean my child or a staff member will become ill?
ANSWER: Quarantine orders from the NM Department of Health or NM Public Education Department are mandatory and students and staff placed on one are not permitted to return to school in-person until the quarantine has been completed and all requirements are met. A precautionary quarantine does not mean that an employee or student is sick or will become sick, but is a mandated practice to best ensure the safety of the student or employee, as well as those teaching and learning around them.
7) How is a quarantine end date typically calculated?
ANSWER: Quarantine start and end dates are determined by the NM Department of Health. They are typically calculated based on the last date of contact with the confirmed COVID-19 positive individual for 10 days. However, this can vary based on many factors. When RRPS calls close contacts to inform them about a mandatory quarantine, we will provide a quarantine end date and a return to in-person learning date. The return to in-person learning date may be different than the quarantine end date based on the child's school schedule.
8) What happens after I receive a call that my child is quarantined?
ANSWER: If you receive a close contact phone call from RRPS instructing you to quarantine your child, you must adhere to that quarantine. Your child will be able to continue learning asynchronously while in quarantine. You will be contacted by your child's teacher for those arrangements. If at any time your child or a household member, begins to show COVID-19 symptoms during the quarantine period, please contact the school immediately.
9) Is my child required to get a COVID-19 test if they are deemed a "Close Contact" with someone in their class or on their school bus?
ANSWER: No. Students are not required to be tested, however RRPS strongly encourages testing 7 to 10 days after exposure to a confirmed positive COVID-19 individual.
10) Do my household members need to quarantine if my child is deemed a Close Contact and is on a 10-day quarantine?
ANSWER: No. Your child's household members, including siblings, do not need to quarantine if your child is deemed a "Close Contact." However, should your child or anyone in your household begin to show COVID-19 symptoms, then the entire home should quarantine and you should reach out to your child's school for instructions. You may also call NMDOH at 1-855-600-3453.
11) My child will be 14 days past their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in X number of days. When they reach that point, can they go back to school even if it’s before their quarantine end date?
ANSWER: No. At the time they were exposed to COVID-19, they were not fully protected by the vaccine. Therefore, they must complete the full 10 day quarantine.
12) My child walks to and from school each day, I can’t pick them up and they have been identified as a close contact, can they walk home from school?
ANSWER: Yes. You must call the school’s front office to authorize that and then they will be allowed to walk home. Please advise your child that they must go straight home and should not interact with others as they are quarantined.
13) My high school student drives themselves to and from school. I can’t pick them up and they have been identified as a close contact, can they drive themselves home from school?
ANSWER: Yes. You must call the school’s front office to authorize that and then they will be permitted to drive themselves home. Please advise your child that they should go straight home without any stops or interactions with others as they are quarantined and have been identified as a close contact of a positive case.