Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Department of Health announced on Thursday, March 12, that all New Mexico K-12 public schools will close for three weeks, beginning Monday, March 16, in response to the ongoing international novel coronavirus pandemic.
In Valencia County, this includes all schools within the Belen Consolidated Schools district, Los Lunas Schools district and the School of Dreams Academy.
The closure will begin at the end of the school day, Friday, March 13. Both BCS and Los Lunas are on spring break this week.
Lujan Grisham and state officials will be holding a news conference at 10 a.m., Friday, March 13, in Room 310 of the state Capitol, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, to announce additional details.
The press conference will be streamed live at www.facebook.com/GovMLG/.
As of Thursday evening, New Mexico has had six presumptive positive tests for COVID-19.
“This is a proactive measure to limit the potential community spread of COVID-19,” said Education Secretary Ryan Stewart. “We have seen other states take this measure after they have experienced community spread of this virus. New Mexico is going to be proactive and do everything we can to prevent the potential spread of the virus. I have been in communication with all of our superintendents about this proactive step, and we are all going to work together to address this public health challenge.”
“We are advising the public of this forthcoming announcement tonight so that parents and students can prepare for this upcoming change and begin to make arrangements,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “We will be informing the public of additional measures that the state will be taking to ease the burden on families and educators and ensure that children continue to be fed and cared for.”
State Cabinet secretaries’ ongoing work of developing telework policies specific to their agencies will not be affected by this decision; state government services will remain in place at this time.
The governor’s office and state officials will send another notice with additional details following the news conference.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.