Piedra Vista, Farmington High among five area schools mandating masks at indoor events
FARMINGTON — In a statement released Monday afternoon by the New Mexico Activities Association, five local and area high schools and academies will mandate masks be worn by both participants and spectators to indoor events.
Those schools include Farmington and Piedra Vista High Schools, as well as Shiprock High, Navajo Prep and Newcomb.
Throughout the state, as many as 65 high schools are requiring masks be worn indoors, both for spectators and participants.
Another seven high schools across the state are mandating masks be worn by spectators, while only Santa Fe Indian School has gone so far as to not allow fans to attend indoor events.
According to the NMAA, of the 159 schools listed on the release, nearly half (73) will enter the upcoming sports season with some type of mask mandate for indoor events, such as the upcoming volleyball season, wrestling meets and basketball seasons, which would start later this fall.
This announcement comes just days after Valencia County announced that all public school students and teachers, as well as visitors, will be required to wear masks indoors while on campus or at school-sponsored events.
The New Mexico Public Education Department as well as the Centers for Disease Control each released their own guidance for schools, advising all individuals, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, to mask-up in public indoor settings as the case numbers for the Delta variant of COVID-19 rise across the United States.
Farmington and Piedra Vista High Schools were the only schools to be included in the latest mandate from their particular district.
The Scorpions and Panthers are part of District 2-5A, which is also comprised of Eldorado High, La Cueva, Sandia Prep and West Mesa.
There was no indication from the NMAA as to when this mandate would be rescinded or revisited.
Farmington Municipal Schools athletic director Isaac Gamboa didn't have a comment on the decision, referring instead to a social media post from the district stating, in part, "a lot is going on, and we hope to see you cheering on our athletes in the community."
In District 1-4A, Shiprock is the lone school enforcing mask mandates, while local and areas schools like Bloomfield, Kirtland Central, Aztec, Gallup and Miyamura were excluded from that list.
In District 1-3A, Navajo Prep, Newcomb and Zuni will be implementing mask mandates while Crownpoint, Thoreau, Tohatchi and Wingate were not included on that list.
More information can be found on the NMAA website at www.nmact.org
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680