Six COVID-19 cases prompt voluntary closure of Aztec High School for cleaning

In-person learning resumes on Sept. 27

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • The Aztec High School Facebook page at 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 23 announced the high school would be closed for the remainder of the day and Sept. 24.
  • The Aztec Municipal School District was notified at noon on Sept. 23 of six new positive cases of COVID-19 amongst students and staff, according to Aztec Superintendent Kevin Summers.
  • Aztec High School was voluntarily closed for the week of April 19-24 due to COVID-19 concerns.

FARMINGTON — Aztec High School was voluntarily closed for almost two days to clean classrooms after district officials were notified of six new COVID-19 cases.

The Aztec High School Facebook page at 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 23 announced the high school would be closed for the remainder of the day and Sept. 24 to clean classrooms and to protect students and staff.

The Aztec Municipal School District was notified at noon on Sept. 23 of six new positive cases of COVID-19 amongst students and staff, according to Aztec Superintendent Kevin Summers.

The New Mexico Rapid Response list maintained by the state did not list the cases in the Sept. 23 update.

Aztec High School

The high school is set to resume in-person operations on Sept. 27.

District officials are working with the New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department to investigate the situation.

Any staff, families or students who might be affected will be contacted by school officials. All activities and athletics will continue, according to the Facebook post.

Of the 15 rapid responses listed for San Juan County on Sept. 23, eight of them were public schools.

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Four were in Farmington, two in Aztec with one in Bloomfield and Kirtland, according to the New Mexico Environment Department.

The effort to quickly shut down in-person learning might have to do with keeping the state education department from formally closing the school to in-person learning for two weeks.

El Capitan Elementary School in Roswell on Aug. 16 was ordered to shut down for 14 days after reporting six COVID-19 cases in a nine-day period, according to a copy of a state education department letter.

The only San Juan County school ordered to shut down due to COVID-19 cases was Piedra Vista High School at the end of May after having four cases within a week, according to The Daily Times archives.

The order was issued at the end of the school year with classes operating remotely for only one day.

Aztec High School was voluntarily closed for the week of April 19-24 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Former Aztec Superintendent Kirk Carpenter previously told The Daily Times one positive case led to at least 50 students and at least five teachers who were exposed and had to quarantine.

That closure was during a wave in April which led to at least 10 San Juan County schools to voluntarily shut down in-person learning due to COVID-19 cases.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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