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COVID-19 Information for the 2023-2024 School Year

Recommendations for Responding to COVID-19

The emergency response phase of COVID-19 has been over since the spring of 2023.  Since then, APS has moved into a phase that promotes individuals following recommendations for responding to the virus. 

As with other communicable diseases, APS will refer to the New Mexico School Health Manual for COVID-19 guidance and response procedures. The manual serves as a resource for schools and the school district, providing information on preventing, identifying, managing, and reporting outbreaks of communicable diseases in schools, including COVID-19.  

Specific to individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, confirmed COVID-19 positive, or exposed to COVID-19, the New Mexico School Health Manual COVID-19 guidelines align with CDC respiratory virus guidance, and that is what APS recommends for students and employees.  

What follows is a Q&A to help APS families and employees understand APS recommendations for responding to COVID.  In addition, refer to the CDC respiratory virus guidance update FAQs.

Does this mean that COVID-19 is no longer a threat?

COVID-19 continues to spread easily and symptoms can range from mild to severe with some people becoming seriously ill or worse. However, a vast majority recover. In essence, it’s becoming more like influenza, a potentially serious illness that we’ve learned to live with and now have tools to combat the virus.

What if I am experiencing symptoms or test positive for COVID-19?

We recommend that anyone who is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID follow CDC respiratory virus guidance, which includes the following:

  • If you have respiratory virus symptoms (that aren't a result of another cause), stay home and away from others.  Symptoms include but are not limited to fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose, and headache.
  • You can return to school or work once you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication and your symptoms are improving.
  • When you return to school or work, take added precautions for 5 days focusing on:  maintaining cleaner air (fresh air, fans and air purifiers), practicing heightened hygiene (handwashing, coughing/sneezing etiquette and cleaning frequently touched surfaces regularly), wearing a well-fitted mask and keeping a safe physical distance from others. 

What if I am exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Students, who are symptom-free, who were in close contact with someone who tested positive can go to school and participate in school-related activities regardless of vaccination status.

Employees, who are symptom-free, who were in close contact with someone who tested positive can go to work regardless of vaccination status.

When should I keep my child home?

It is not just recommended for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate at home. There are certain conditions in which a student should not be at school when sick. The district has sick day guidelines in place to help parents determine when to keep their children home.

When you have questions, please call your school nurse or health care provider.

Over these last four years, we’ve heard a lot about COVID-safe practices. Are those still relevant?

Absolutely. We have tools to combat COVID-19 such as:

  • Vaccines
  • Testing
  • Treatments
  • Mitigation strategies that include staying home when you are sick, masking, hand hygiene, sneezing, and coughing etiquette, increasing indoor ventilation, and social distancing.

Since the emergency phase has passed, is employee COVID-related leave being eliminated?

As of July 1, 2023, there is no longer any paid COVID leave available. Employees are to use their own accrued leave for any further COVID-related absences.

Do students and employees still have to inform their schools and supervisors if they test positive?

Schools have resumed normal absence reporting practices for students. It is no longer required for positive COVID-19 cases of students to be reported to schools.

Schools and departments have resumed normal absence reporting practices for employees. It is no longer required for positive COVID-19 cases of employees to be reported to their supervisor.  

APS will provide free at-home rapid antigen COVID test kits for students and employees experiencing symptoms while supplies last (contact your school if a parent or contact your supervisor if an employee).

The New Mexico Department of Health continues to serve as a resource for information on COVID-19 in New Mexico.  

APS families who have questions are encouraged to contact their child’s school, and employees are encouraged to contact their supervisor.

Updated March 19, 2024

This page was last updated on: August 10, 2022.