Carlsbad school’s prepare for ‘test to stay’ policy

The Carlsbad Municipal School district is preparing for the new test to stay policy, which helps unvaccinated students avoid quarantines.

The New Mexico Public Education Department published new guidelines on Nov. 2 stating that unvaccinated students that come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 can return to school if they test negative for the virus. Until now, these students had to quarantine for at least 10 days.

Carlsbad Municipal Schools Superintendent Dr. Gerry Washburn said the new policy poses a challenge for some schools. He said the district will now have to keep a record of these tests and which students are vaccinated.

The new policy requires students that are exposed to be tested three times, on days one, three and five following possible exposure, according to the Public Education Department (PED). If a parent refuses to allow an exposed child to test for the virus they will still be required to quarantine for 10 days.