“Out of an abundance of caution, I’ve made the decision to go ahead and have all our staff all re-tested before we reopen, just to ensure that we’re basically starting with a clean slate,” said Daniela Baca, director of the UNM Children’s Campus.
Baca said they will test all 80 employees. She also said around 10 children and eight staff members may have had direct contact with the COVID-positive person.
Before the pandemic, the center served around 300 kids. Now, capacity is around a third of that pre-pandemic number. Baca said they’ve implemented COVID safe practices and are only allowing kids and staff inside. She did not disclose whether the positive case was from a staff member or a child, but said safety plans can only go so far.
“Those safety protocols as comprehensive as they are, realistically, are only one piece of the puzzle, you know, those are things that we can control,” she said. “The things that we can’t are peoples’ behaviors when they’re not on-site, so we really have to rely on everybody to do their part.”
Baca said they have about 15 classrooms at the facility. One positive case shut them down for a week.
On the topic of reopening schools across the state, Baca said it’ll all come down to resources and whether school districts will have PPE, thermometers for screenings and other precautions to protect kids and teachers.
Baca said the New Mexico Department of Health required them to shut down for 48 hours, but they decided to close for the entire week. She hopes to reopen the center come Monday.