Updated Health and Safety Requirements
April 12, 2021
On March 11, 2020, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a public health emergency in order to maximize the resources available to fight the spread of COVID-19 and minimize public health risks for New Mexicans. The fight against COVID-19 is ongoing, fluid, and requires our collective diligence and attention.
The following is a list of required health and safety practices, effective March 29, 2021, for all New Mexico Child Care Centers, licensed and registered homes, and early childhood professionals.
• Licensed providers may return to group size and ratios according to their licensed Star level.
• Access to facility must be limited to essential visitors, which includes breast feeding mothers, therapists, early interventionists and special education staff, FOCUS verifiers, and ECECD regulatory staff, and practicum students.
• Providers must conduct daily temperature checks and screenings for symptoms prior to entry for staff and other essential visitors entering the building.
• Providers must conduct daily wellness checks on every child at the facility.
• Masks are required for all staff, gloves and gowns as needed for wellness screenings of children or health screenings of staff and essential visitors.
• Mandatory mask wearing for children age 3 years and older (unless drinking, eating, or napping).
• Mandatory training for all staff, including cooks and transportation staff, on COVID safe practices.
• Frequent handwashing.
• Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and disinfect at the end of each day.
• Children must maintain at least three (3) feet of physical distance, including during naps, when possible. Mats should be placed head-to-toe.
• Providers must eliminate family-style meals; have employees (not children) handle utensils. Wear gloves when serving children. Plate each child’s meal.
• Providers must serve meals in the classroom. If spaces such as cafeterias need to be used—as with licensed out of school time programs—stagger use and clean and sanitize between use.
• Transportation safety requirements:
⬥ Mandatory mask wearing for passengers over three years of age.
⬥ Use the vehicle’s vents and windows to bring in fresh air, avoid using the recirculated air option.
⬥ If possible, maintain one empty space between passengers.
⬥ Require handwashing/hand sanitizer before and after exiting the vehicle
⬥ Clean and sanitize regularly touched surfaces between groups/runs.
• All staff and practicum students must test for COVID-19 monthly.
• Providers must exclude children or staff from the program who have two or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and/or test positive.
• Staff and children who were in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive case must quarantine for 10 days (unless they are two weeks past full dose of vaccination or have recovered