A positive COVID-19 test for a St. Michael’s High School student who attended the homecoming dance last weekend led to the quarantine of dozens of unvaccinated students, school President Tom Coughlan said.

Administrators were informed of the case Monday, Coughlan said, estimating about 45 unvaccinated students who were at Saturday night’s dance in the Tipton Center were required to quarantine.

Coughlan said contact tracing was almost impossible to conduct because administrators could not determine if students properly wore their masks during the event, so they decided Monday to send home all unvaccinated students who had attended the dance.

The event was open to St. Michael’s middle and high school students.

The school had not received confirmation of any other coronavirus cases tied to the dance by Thursday, Coughlan added, and Monday’s case was the first on-campus case of the virus reported this school year.

According to the New Mexico Public Education Department’s COVID-19 rules, unvaccinated students must quarantine for 10 days if they contract the coronavirus or are deemed close contacts of someone with a confirmed case.

Coughlan said quarantined students at St. Michael’s can return to school Oct. 27.

Administrators did not consider closing the campus, he said, because they knew the vaccination status of almost every student. Some parents who had not previously provided vaccine documentation to the school did so this week to ensure their child could continue to attend classes, he added.

Between 85 percent and 90 percent of the 450 students at St. Michael’s, which serves grades 7-12, are vaccinated, Coughlan said.

The quarantined students have been able to maintain contact with their teachers through email and virtual meetings to ensure they do not miss any schoolwork, he said. “It’s kinda like office hours in college. Between 8 and 8:30 [a.m.] and 3:30 and 4 [p.m.], they can get individualized tutorial time on Zoom.”

The quarantine also had an impact on the school’s athletic programs. On Wednesday, head football coach Joey Fernandez confirmed 10 players will not take part in Friday’s football game at Las Vegas Robertson.

Michael Feldewert, the school’s boys soccer coach, said he had a player among the quarantined group as well.

(3) comments

Robert Kowalski

Another lie by the school. The dance was NOT open to middle school students. Middle school students were also told to go home monday yet weren’t at the dance. Why? To segregate the vaccinated and non-vaccinated. The school demanded vaccine proof as a way to contact trace. Another lie since one has zero to do with the other. And if they can’t determine who was in close contact why not shut the school

until every strident presents a PCR test? Oh because that would make Sam Govea look bad and his ego would take a hit. He needs to be removed as he has lost the school, parents and students trust to do the right thing.

Helen Wallace

CDC Director Rachelle Walensky stated to the World August 5 2021 on CNN Wolf Blitzer

"Vaccines DO NOT PREVENT SPREAD of Covid" they may prevent severe disease...but any body can spread covid. Separating out unvaccinated kids does Nothing to mitigate spread.

I am repeatedly frustrated that the science is not logically translated into realities with this virus and that unvaccinated are losing careers when a vaccinated worker can give covid to a vaccinated coworker.

I know an 18yo fully vaccinated young man who gave covid to his unvaccinated 18yo friends. The vaccinated hadvsymptoms, got tested and was positive. Told his unvaccinated friend, as that had been together days earlier. The unvaccinated's symptoms, fever, started later that nite, when he got his test it was positive. Both have since recovered.

Again, this continued assault and exclusion of unvaccinated is not based on the science.

These now quarenteened unvaccinated students made to feel and seem like pariahs. This is madness and utterly wrong.


Angel Ortiz

Helen, I assume that you have a medical or scientific background....?

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