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Farmington school employee tests positive for coronavirus

Schools prepare to reopen for online and in-person learning
A Farmington Municipal Schools employee has tested positive for the coronavirus, less than a month before in-person classes begin.

FARMINGTON – A Farmington Municipal Schools employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the district announced Tuesday in a news release.

The release said a second school district employee is also exhibiting symptoms of the virus but test results are pending.

The two employees were working together in one of the district buildings, the release said. There were no students or other staff members in any of the potentially affected rooms. The district is not allowing anyone into the areas until after July 27, and the rooms have been sanitized through a fogging machine, which creates a disinfecting fog to kill germs and viruses.

The district is not releasing additional information to protect the employees’ privacy. No students are currently allowed in district buildings or on school grounds.

The announcement comes as the school district prepares for an Aug. 13 start date. The district revealed its plan for the return to school last week in a virtual school board meeting.

The district announced each family will have a choice of attending school in person or through online learning at home. But students will maintain regular school schedules and will be required to complete the class work at the same pace, no matter the format they are attending.

The district said that is to ensure students are at the same level if the coronavirus conditions improve and students can return for in-person classes, or if conditions worsen and all schools transition to an online learning format.

For the last week, school staff has been contacting the families of students to survey the level of interest in the at-school and at-home models of learning. The district said the results will allow each school to determine its class sizes and schedules and prepare classrooms. Each school will also determine if capacity limits are within the state’s public health requirement.

The district said it continues to follow employee health screening protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico Public Education Department and New Mexico Department of Health. The protocols include mandatory face masks, temperature screenings, and symptom and travel questions before entering school buildings.

The Farmington Municipal Schools’ approach is similar to the plan announced by Durango School District 9-R. Durango students will also have the option of attending in-person or online classes, with the additional option of a combination of the two learning methods.

Aug. 13 will mark the first time students are allowed to return to in-person learning since students were sent home in March.


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