Updated Health and Safety Requirements
June 1, 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 June 1, 2021, for all New Mexico Child Care Centers, licensed and registered homes, and early childhood professionals.
- Parents/guardians may resume entry exclusively for the purposes of pick-up or drop-off under the following conditions:
- Limit entry to one parent or guardian;
- Time spent in facility should not extend beyond that which is necessary for picking-up or dropping-off child(ren);
- Masks are required to be worn indoors by all parents/guardians;
- All other parental interactions with staff must remain virtual or outdoors (e.g. – parent-teacher conferences, daily reports, payment processing, etc.); and
- Ensure physical distancing is maintained
- All other access to the facility must be limited to essential visitors, which includes breast feeding mothers, parents/guardians seeking services, therapists, early interventionists and special education staff, FOCUS verifiers, ECECD regulatory staff, and practicum students.
- Providers must conduct daily temperature checks and screenings for symptoms prior to entry for non-vaccinated staff and all other essential visitors entering the building.
- Masks are no longer required outdoors for staff, children, parents, and essential visitors. Indoor mask requirements remain in effect.
- Licensed providers may operate at group sizes and ratios according to their licensed Star level
- Providers must conduct daily wellness checks on every child at the facility.
- Masks are required indoors for all staff, plus gloves and gowns as needed for wellness screenings of children or health screenings of staff and essential visitors.
- Masks are required for children age 3 years and older when indoors (unless drinking, eating, or napping)
- Training on COVID safe practices is required for all staff, including cooks and transportation staff.
- Good hygiene practices are required, including frequent handwashing/sanitizing
- Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned often throughout the day and disinfected at the end of each day.
- Providers should not serve 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 three years of age and older.
⬥ Use the vehicle’s vents and windows to bring in fresh air and 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.
- Non-vaccinated staff and practicum students must test for COVID-19 every two months.
- Fully vaccinated staff and practicum students do not need to be tested for COVID-19 unless they are involved in a rapid response situation.
- Providers must exclude children or staff from the program who have two or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and/or test positive, including those who are fully vaccinated.
- 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). Anyone fully vaccinated who is exposed to a confirmed case should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after exposure; if symptoms develop, they should get tested and self-isolate while waiting for the results.