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Portales public schools closing due to COVID-19 surge

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:39 PM CST
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PORTALES, N.M. (KFDA) - The public schools in Portales will be closing on Friday due to a surge of COVID-19 cases.

According to The Eastern New Mexico News, in a letter to parents, Superintendent Johnnie Cain said three schools in the district have reached a five percent positive case rate, while three others are close to that percentage.

State guidelines require schools to activate an enhanced COVID-19 Safe Practices Plan when positivity rates are high, which includes closing for one day and deep cleaning.

“Therefore, all schools will be closed on Friday, January 21 so that custodial and maintenance staff can deep clean each of the schools,” Cain wrote in the letter to parents and guardians. “School will resume as usual on Monday, January 24. During this closure all athletic and other events are canceled. No City League games or practices will occur on school property until the 24th.”

Cain asked parents to keep children at home any time they are sick. He said any child with COVID-19 symptoms can call their school and arrange for a COVID-19 test.

Cain said Portales schools are also seeing multiple students with strep throat in addition to COVID-19.

“Closing schools is not something we take lightly,” Cain said, “but out of an abundance of caution and to be in line with (state and health department) guidelines, the decision to close and clean seems to be the best option at this time.

New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 21,305 new COVID-19 cases have been reported across the state since Friday.

That number includes 156 new cases in Roosevelt County.

Curry County reported 560 new cases over the holiday weekend.

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