Coronavirus Updates

State of New Mexico and Major Health Systems
Covid 19 Accommodation Request Form
Outline Options for COVID-19 Testing
ALBUQUERQUE -- The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and its testing partners want to collaboratively assure the public that COVID-19 testing remains widely available to those who need it in the state of New Mexico, and that people who need to get tested are still able to do so. Individuals who are unsure about whether they should be tested are encouraged to call the New Mexico Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.
To date, more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed statewide thanks to consistent cooperation and proactive planning work between the Department of Health and private-sector partners. As a result, New Mexico has consistently ranked as one of the top five states nationally for per-capita testing.  
“Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19," said Kathy Kunkel, Secretary of Health. “Identifying positive cases quickly ensures that individuals who may have been exposed to the virus are notified, tested and directed to quarantine, preventing further spread.”
As New Mexico’s case counts have risen, we have kept our commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents, ensuring broad access to testing in New Mexico. That commitment remains, and the Department of Health and New Mexico hospital systems strongly encourage the following groups to get tested for COVID-19:
  • Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell.
  • People without symptoms who are close contacts or household members of people in their infectious period who have already tested positive for the coronavirus; and
  •  Patients who are scheduled for surgery and whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure.
  •  Broad based return-to-work testing for individuals without known exposure to COVID-19 or other risk factors is not a priority for testing. However, the hospital systems and NMDOH will work with individuals seeking work-related testing to ensure that their needs are met. In addition, the state has a comprehensive plan to ensure that vulnerable populations, such as those working and living in congregate settings and other high-risk groups, have enhanced access to testing.
In order to ensure the best possible care, the hospital systems urge individuals with symptoms and patients scheduled for surgery whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure to obtain a test through a private health care provider. Options in Albuquerque include:
  • Lovelace Health System is testing at their downtown location Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00AM-10:00AM.
  • UNM Hospital is testing at their Respiratory Care Center Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00AM-11:00AM.
In Albuquerque, NMDOH is offering COVID-19 testing at Expo NM Monday-through-Saturday mornings. Individuals who would like to be tested at this location are asked to pre-register at
Outside of Albuquerque, there are other private testing providers and NMDOH Public Health Offices are open statewide for COVID-19 testing, with some testing events held on weekends. Making an appointment is recommended but not required, and testing is open to anyone concerned about their health. All testing locations can be found on the NMDOH website at
The Department of Health and New Mexico hospital systems urge all New Mexicans to continue to assist the state in the fight against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and maintaining good hygiene. 

Coronavirus Preparedness On March 27, Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham and PED Secretary Ryan Stewart announced that New Mexico public schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. While we are not physically in school, instruction, food distribution and more are continuing. Please visit Our Coronavirus Updates Page to stay up-to-date on the latest information. Recent Releases: Superintendent Garcia's Letter to Parents on Remote Learning

Click here to go to the Distance Learning Resources pageDistance Learning Devices/Dispositivos para aprendizaje a DistanciaFree Food Distribution for Kids/Distribucion de Alimentos Gratuitos

Coronavirus Hotlines and Resources

The Office of the Governor and the New Mexico Public Education Department has established the below hotlines for your use related to COVID-19:

- Health-related issues COVID-19 hotline: 1-855-600-3453
- Childcare, food insecurity, supplies, loss of income:  1-833-551-0518 - CHRISTUS St. Vincent Info Page (Spanish) : Click here - Santa Fe Public Schools would like to remind students and families that free behavioral health services via video conferencing and telephone calls are available to all SFPS families through our partnership with The Sky Center. Any family seeking support is encouraged to schedule an appointment. All services are free to members of our community with a child in the household between the ages of 0-23.  If you are concerned about depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, suicidal behavior, or other behavioral health issues, please call The Sky Center at 505-473-6191. - Earth Care New Mexico - Click here to view their Mutual Aid Resources


The Office of the Governor and the New Mexico Public Education Department has established the below hotlines for your use related to COVID-19:
Health-related issues COVID-19 hotline: 1-855-600-3453
Childcare, food insecurity, supplies, loss of income:  1-833-551-0518
The Office of the Governor and the New Mexico Public Education Department has established the below hotlines for your use related to COVID-19:
Health-related issues COVID-19 hotline: 1-855-600-3453
Childcare, food insecurity, supplies, loss of income:  1-833-551-0518


Please see the below letter from Superintendent Dr. Veronica C. Garcia
on steps the district is taking during the Coronavirus outbreak:

Click on the image below to enlarge the letter.

Letter to Parents about SFPS Devices

A Letter From Superintendent Dr. Veronica C. Garcia

Esteemed Faculty and Staff,

The Governor of New Mexico has declared a statewide health emergency.  She has encouraged that fans and family members watch the NMAA tournament games on TV from home; the whole family should not go.  
She has also asked that individuals voluntarily choose to not attend large events.

The NMAA says it will keep the public updated on any changes to the State Basketball Tournament.  If you would like to watch the tournament from home, all contests will be streamed live via the NFHS Network ( for a subscription fee of $10.99.   You can listen to the games live, for free, via KSWV radio. Go Demons! Go Jaguars!

In a preponderance of caution, I want to reiterate that all out-of-state and country travel that is sponsored by SFPS is prohibited.  Beginning tomorrow, all field trips are cancelled until further notice.

The District leadership and I have developed a Pandemic Prevention, Preparation, Response and Recovery Procedural Manual.  Tomorrow, I will be providing all staff with more guidance.  But I assure you that the District is well prepared for other developments that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

We continue to keep a close watch on the evolving situation with regard to the coronavirus. We are following the lead of the New Mexico Department of Health and the Public Education Department; the DOH website, at https://cv.nmhealth.orgis still the best place to go for up-to-date information and medical facts about the coronavirus in our state. 

Some basic facts are worth repeating.

  •             Prevention is our best approach to coronavirus. 
  •             If you feel sick, stay home. 
  •             Continue to practice good prevention techniques: Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer.  Avoid shaking hands.  Don’t touch your face.  Cover your coughs and sneezes.

We are encouraging all Santa Fe residents to enroll in Alert Santa Fe, an emergency notification system that will allow the city to provide important information quickly, efficiently and accurately. You can find Alert Santa Fe at

Health care professionals and officials advise us that this is an ever-changing situation, that more changes will occur and that more measures will be needed in the days, weeks and months ahead.

We will continue to look to DOH for additional guidance, provide regular updates as we get them and announce additional measures as the situation warrants. 

Please check the DOH website for information at

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and for all you do for the students and families of the Santa Fe Public Schools.  I appreciate you so very much.  Be well.

Best regards,

Veronica C. Garcia, Ed.D.
Santa Fe Public Schools

Coronavirus Travel Notice


Dear Santa Fe Public Schools Parents/Families, 

We in the Santa Fe Public Schools take the health and safety of our students very seriously. We know that there is much concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is a novel virus and no one knows for sure how the spread of this virus will impact our schools. While we are not aware of any confirmed cases in New Mexico at this time, we are taking proactive measures in providing accurate up-to-date information to our families. 

I also want to assure you that over the last week my leadership team has developed protocols for each department to ensure smooth operations and communication in the event of school closure and to limit the spread of infection. Our current efforts include, but are not limited to, increasing sanitizing efforts in our schools and administrative buildings, planning for distance learning opportunities for our students should schools need to close and keeping district operations such as communications and payroll operational in the event of district-wide closure. 

The decision to close school will be based on attendance rates for students and staff, incidence rates of infection reported by the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) for Santa Fe County and consultation with DOH and the Public Education Department. It is possible that we may be directed by an outside agency to close schools to contain community spread of the infection. 

Therefore, it is critical that all parents/ families make plans now as to who will care for their children if schools were to be closed. Keep in mind the possibility that if schools are closed due to the coronavirus public childcare or recreational centers may also be closed. 

According to DOH, it is important to know that the risk is based on exposure. Those at higher risk for being infected are people who have traveled to a country with widespread infection within the last two weeks and have symptoms and those who had direct close contact with someone who was confirmed to have the coronavirus. Like any other virus, no identity, community, ethnic or racial group in New Mexico is more at risk for getting or spreading the coronavirus. 

To reduce the risk of infection, see attached the current guidance, which is to: 

Stay home when you are sick. Do not return to school/work until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school, especially when someone is ill.
Wash your hands for 20 seconds using running water and soap ( or use hand sanitizer with (60-95% alcohol content).
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or influenza-like symptoms (fever, sneezing, coughing, chills). A distance of 6 feet is recommended.
Get the flu shot if you are not already vaccinated.

I have taken the liberty to attach a "Stop the Spread of Germs" info graphic that you may wish to print, post, share, put on your refrigerator, etc. 

We encourage you to regularly check the following websites: 

Santa Fe Public Schools:
New Mexico Department of Health:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

COVID-19 testing now available in New Mexico
Effort now underway to provide testing in select cities
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s State Scientific Laboratory (SLD) now has capacity to test for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The tests kits, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allow the Department of Health to test several hundred patients without having to send samples out of state for testing.
The State Scientific Laboratory not only expects more test kits to arrive imminently, it is also working with TriCore Reference Laboratories to establish testing at select locations across the state.
“Testing at SLD will be provided at no cost to New Mexico residents,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel.
The Department of Health is currently reviewing suspected COVID-19 infections in patients throughout the state. Testing will be considered for:

  • Patients showing signs of illness but who test negative for more common respiratory illnesses and have traveled to a country with a level 3 travel warning such as China, South Korea, Italy and Iran;
  • Patients hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, without an alternative diagnosis – regardless of travel history, and
  • Patients in New Mexico with flu symptoms who test negative for influenza regardless of travel history

Healthcare professionals who suspect COVID-19 should immediately notify infection control personnel at their facility and contact the New Mexico Department of Health at: (505) 827-0006.
The COVID-19 virus continues to spread globally, and community spread has increased or been detected in multiple countries and the west coast of the U.S. Community spread means that cases have been confirmed in patients who haven’t traveled internationally nor been around someone diagnosed with the virus.
The Department of Health still asks all New Mexico residents returning from travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran to call our 24/7/365 Epidemiology Hotline at 505-827-0006 for guidance on how to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19, even if you are not sick.
While NMDOH is actively monitoring and planning for the likely arrival of the novel coronavirus, it is important to remember that it is still flu and respiratory virus season. We remind everyone to wash your hands frequently, cover your cough, and stay home if you are ill. These same steps are also effective in preventing contracting COVID-19.
For the latest information about the COVID-19 virus in New Mexico, visit our novel coronavirus webpage:

New Mexico Novel Coronavirus Update and Guidance
(March 2, 2020)

This update is provided by the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) and Santa Fe Public Schools regarding the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Because community spread of COVID-19 has been seen in many countries around the world and now in California, Oregon and Washington, it is likely we will see community spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico. No cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in NM to date, but this will likely change.

The complete clinical picture of COVID-19 is not fully understood, but fever, cough and shortness of breath are the main symptoms. Most of the illnesses are mild and do not require hospitalization. Older adults and persons with some chronic medical conditions are more likely to have severe illness.

DOH is working with healthcare providers in the state to identify patients at risk of COVID-19, to provide testing, and to manage infection control procedures to minimize the potential spread of the virus from those who are sick. Testing is available now through the DOH State Scientific Laboratory (SLD) and, if patient testing criteria are met, throat and nasal swabs can be collected anywhere in the state and tested at SLD.  
DOH has reviewed pandemic preparedness plans and adapted them for COVID-19. We are looking ahead and taking steps now, in partnership with many others in NM, to prepare for the monitoring and care of patients with COVID-19 should we have community spread in New Mexico.
If we have widespread community spread in New Mexico, we will consider closing schools for a period of time, canceling mass gatherings and encouraging employers to allow for teleworking where possible. These measures would be implemented to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico.  
Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of respiratory viruses and following these steps will help:

- Stay home when you are sick and limit close contact with other people except for the medical care that you need.
- Cover your cough and sneezes to reduce the spread of infectious droplets and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol.
- Clean “high touch” surfaces daily with regular household cleaners.
- Avoid sharing personal household items.
- If you are not sick, still wash your hands frequently when you are in places where there may be other sick people and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

We do not recommend the use of facemasks to prevent getting infected with a respiratory virus, unless your healthcare provider has specifically recommended this for you. A facemask is most effective in limiting the spread of infectious droplets when worn by persons with respiratory symptoms.

Please visit the NMDOH website to stay up to date about COVID-19 in New Mexico

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