UPDATE: With updated guidance from the Public Education Department (PED), indoor sports is 100% mask wearing. Outdoor sports, including football, has now been changed back to recommended mask wearing. The change in language comes just hours after the PED issued the mandate.
LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — High school athletes in New Mexico are back to masking up, regardless of sport or vaccination status.
Multiple area coaches confirming to KTSM that the state’s Public Education Department (PED), who is already requiring all indoor sports use masks, is now mandating that football players across the state will also have to wear masks for practices and games.
The Albuquerque Journal’s James Yodice was the first to report the new mandate from the PED.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the new mandate is effective starting Wednesday. The state’s athletic directors were informed on Tuesday by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA). The report also states that spectators will likely have to wear face coverings as well.
Two schools in El Paso, Franklin and Mountain View, will be playing their season openers this week in New Mexico. The Cougars will play at Rio Rancho Cleveland on Friday while the Lobos are scheduled to play at Ruidoso on Friday as well. Both schools will be required to wear masks for these games.
Football isn’t the only sport that will require its athletes to mask up. It will also include soccer and cross country, which means all four fall sports (football, volleyball, cross country and soccer) will have mask mandates moving forward.