Safety tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as students return from winter break

On Monday January 10, students at Las Cruces Public Schools will be returning to the classrooms from winter break to start the spring semester. The district encourages students, staff, and community members to do their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Las Cruces Public Schools will continue to host clinics for vaccinations with assistance from the Office of Emergency Management and the NM Department of Health. 

Through a contract with Premier Medical Group (PMG), Las Cruces Public Schools will host drive-through COVID-19 test sites for LCPS staff and students. For onsite COVID-19 testing for students and staff: Click here.

Here are some safety measures to keep in mind when returning to the classroom:

Stay home if you are feeling sick

Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care, regardless of vaccination status. Staying home when sick with COVID-19 is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of schools and prevent spread to others.

Proper wearing of face masks

  1. Wash your hands before putting on your mask
  2. Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  3. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  4. Make sure you can breathe easily.
  5. Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
  6. Don’t touch the mask while it’s on your face unless removing it to eat or drink, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect before touching your mask

Washing cloth face masks

  • Ideally, a cloth face mask should be washed with laundry detergent and dried after each use (after a day at school)
  • Masks may be washed in a washing machine or by hand. Optimally, the face mask is dried in a dryer at the hottest setting or is dried outside with sunlight.

Social distancing

A distance of at least 6 feet is recommended between students and teachers/staff, and between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated. Correct and consistent mask use by all* students, teachers, staff, and visitors is particularly important when physical distance cannot be maintained.

Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

People should practice handwashing and respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) to keep from getting and spreading infectious illnesses including COVID-19. Schools will monitor and reinforce these behaviors and provide adequate handwashing supplies.

  • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Remind everyone in the facility to wash hands frequently and assist young children with handwashing.
  • If handwashing is not possible, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (for teachers, staff, and older students who can safely use hand sanitizer). Hand sanitizers should be stored up, away, and out of sight of young children and should be used only with adult supervision for children under 6 years of age.