RRPS re­ports two COVID cases among stu­dents

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY SHELBY PEREA

Rio Ran­cho Pub­lic Schools has had its first con­firmed cases of COVID-19 since stu­dents re­turned to cam­pus last week for a hy­brid of in-per­son and on­line learn­ing.

Dis­trict spokes­woman Beth Pen­der­grass said a fourth grader at San­dia Vista Ele­men­tary School tested pos­i­tive, which was con­firmed Tues­day. The dis­trict’s web­site also shows a stu­dent case was con­firmed Wed­nes­day in a Puesta del Sol Ele­men­tary third grade class.

Around 4,000 ele­men­tary and preschool stu­dents re­turned to schools in the Rio Ran­cho dis­trict un­der a hy­brid learn­ing model. The younger stu­dents come to school four days each week while fourth and fifth graders at­tend classes in per­son two days each week.

In a Tues­day let­ter to the RRPS com­mu­nity, Su­per­in­ten­dent Sue Cleveland as­sured fam­i­lies that the state Pub­lic Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment and Depart­ment of Health are in­volved and steps are be­ing taken to pro­tect kids.

“Per guid­ance from both NMPED and NMDOH, we are re­quired to in­ves­ti­gate to see who had ‘close con­tact’ with the staff mem­ber or stu­dent who tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19,” she wrote.

At San­dia Vista Ele­men­tary, a RRPS re­port shows 14 stu­dents and four em­ploy­ees are be­ing quar­an­tined. Pen­der­grass said that the stu­dents will learn re­motely, and the em­ploy­ees will work from home dur­ing their quar­an­tines.

At Puesta del Sol Ele­men­tary, 14 stu­dents and two em­ploy­ees must quar­an­tine.

At both schools, af­fected ar­eas were closed for dis­in­fec­tion.

On Wed­nes­day, the state an­nounced six new cases — four staff and two stu­dents — in pub­lic schools statewide.

There have been a to­tal of 141 school­re­lated cases since mid-Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to the state.

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