Three county schools move to remote learning following positive COVID-19 cases

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Roberto Taboada, Farmington school’s spokesperson, told The Daily Times Apache has three positive cases of COVID-19 while Northeast had two.
  • Mesa Alta Junior High has four confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • San Juan County public schools had 18 of the 28 rapid response entries on Oct. 5.

FARMINGTON — Two Farmington schools and a Bloomfield school have voluntarily closed to in-person learning, prompting a shift to remote learning due to the recent number of COVID-19 cases.

Apache and Northeast elementary schools shifted to remote learning on Oct. 4 with the goal of returning to the classroom on Oct. 12, according to the Farmington Municipal Schools Facebook page.

Roberto Taboada, Farmington school’s spokesperson, told The Daily Times that Apache Elementary has three positive cases of COVID-19 while Northeast had two.

More:San Juan County, Navajo Nation COVID-19 case updates for October 2021

Apache elementary had 455 students who had to quarantine after possible exposure and Northeast had 498 students, according to Taboada.

“Parents and the community should know that we have taken action out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of all,” said a statement on the Farmington schools Facebook page.

The shift to remote learning is described as a preventive health step. Custodial staff are working on cleaning both schools. School photos at Apache elementary will be rescheduled.

Mesa Alta Junior High School moved to remote learning on Sept. 30 and is set to return to in-person learning on Oct. 11, according to Bloomfield Superintendent Kim Mizell.

The school has four confirmed cases of COVID-19 with Mizell stating that it’s possible that the junior high school may report as many as 40 positive cases.

She said that additional testing being conducted amongst staff and more test results from students could yield that figure.

Kim Mizell

District officials voluntarily closed the school to in-person learning in a bid to monitor and manage the positive COVID-19 cases and keep people safe, according to Mizell.

Mizell noted that the confirmed cases of COVID-19 were not contracted at the school, meaning students contracted the coronavirus outside of school and brought it into the building.

Aztec High School on Sept. 23 moved to remote learning in the middle of the school day to handle six positive COVID-19 cases reported that day. It later reopened on Sept. 27.

The closures come as San Juan County reported 256 cases for Oct. 2 – 4, the second highest in the state behind the 413 cases reported by Bernalillo County.

The New Mexico Rapid Response list for San Juan County has grown in the last two weeks.

Eight of the 15 entries on Sept. 23 were public schools. That list grew to 18 of the 28 rapid response entries on Oct. 5 were from county schools, according to the New Mexico Environment Department.

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