Coronavirus. Courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Department of Health have announced that New Mexico kindergarten through 12-grade public schools will close for three weeks beginning Monday, in response to the ongoing international novel coronavirus pandemic.

The closure will begin at the end of the school day Friday.

Lujan Grisham and state officials are scheduled to hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday in Santa Fe to announce additional details.

The press conference will be streamed live at facebook.com/GovMLG/.

As of Thursday evening, New Mexico has had six presumptive positive tests for COVID-19, all in individuals over 40. Five were travel-related, and health officials were investigating a possible travel link for another, according to the state Department of Health.

None of the sick people live in Sandoval County, according to DOH.

State government services will remain in place at this time.

The governor’s office and state officials will send another notice with additional details following the news conference.

“This is a proactive measure to limit the potential community spread of COVID-19,” said Education Secretary Ryan Stewart. “We have seen other states take this measure after they have experienced community spread of this virus. New Mexico is going to be proactive and do everything we can to prevent the potential spread of the virus. I have been in communication with all of our superintendents about this proactive step, and we are all going to work together to address this public health challenge.”

“We are advising the public of this forthcoming announcement tonight so that parents and students can prepare for this upcoming change and begin to make arrangements,” Lujan Grisham said. “We will be informing the public of additional measures that the state will be taking to ease the burden on families and educators and ensure that children continue to be fed and cared for.”

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