SANTA FE, N.M. (WR) — The New Mexico Public Faculty Insurance coverage Authority board unanimously voted Thursday to ship a letter warning faculties and districts concerning the risks of not complying with coronavirus tips.

The letter to member districts and constitution faculties warns that if they don’t adjust to state well being restrictions, they could jeopardize their possibilities of receiving protection for coronavirus-related work claims, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Government Director Richard Valerio mentioned districts that violate mask-wearing mandates, convey college students again to highschool too quickly or prematurely order staff again to in-person work might be vulnerable to shedding their protection.

The authority offers insurance coverage for all faculty districts within the state apart from Albuquerque.

The board additionally accepted the creation of a process pressure to higher perceive the challenges of returning to highschool throughout a pandemic.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham introduced in July that faculties wouldn’t reopen in individual till a minimum of Sept. 7. College students will start on-line courses on Aug. 20.

The insurance coverage authority continues to be attempting to find out implement protection for faculties throughout a pandemic. One concept that’s being thought-about is setting apart $1 million for legal responsibility insurance coverage if an outbreak happens at a faculty.

The group’s letter is proof of a broader dilemma training insurers are dealing with, mentioned Marty Esquivel, common counsel for the authority.

Esquivel mentioned he’s involved that there “could also be a state of affairs the place some districts select to avoid the order deliberately or unintentionally and the query turns into, what occurs in that case?”

The authority can also be nonetheless attempting to find out proceed with employee compensation claims.

Valerio mentioned Thursday the authority already has obtained a number of staff compensation claims on account of the coronavirus.

“They had been denied as a result of we couldn’t decide the worker caught the COVID virus from the office,” he mentioned. “I feel it’s gonna be actually laborious to pinpoint or decide that, although contract tracing could come into play there.”

For most individuals, the brand new coronavirus causes gentle or average signs, equivalent to fever and cough that clear up in two to a few weeks. For some — particularly older adults and other people with present well being issues — it may well trigger extra extreme sickness, together with pneumonia, and dying.