LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - With more than 1,500 active Covid-19 cases in the district, Las Cruces Public Schools announced Friday that staffers will now enforce stricter protocols at sporting events.
The district will once again require social distancing at games, according to a news release late Friday. Fans attending events must also sit in marked locations on bleachers and seating areas.
Las Cruces Public Schools also closed concession stands and banned food and drinks at fans, effective Monday. Staffers are aiming for "100% mask compliance."
"It's absolutely our last resort to close the doors on our spectators," said LCPS spokeswoman Kelly Jameson. "That’s nothing that the district wants to do voluntarily.”
“These measures are our best line of prevention right now,” wrote LCPS Superintendent Ralph Ramos in the news release. “I want to see championships and musical performances. I want our parents to be able to watch their students perform and finish this season with spectators in the stands."
Jameson said these measures are to ensure students can still have their milestone moments.
“We’re thinking ahead towards graduation and all those activities in the spring where our seniors really have that last opportunity to be part of their educational experience," Jameson said.
The New Mexico Music Educators Association canceled All-State for the passionate music students in the district. Students say they hope that their parents will be able to attend their concerts.
“It’s kind of hard to go on because there’s no certainty that we’re going to play," said Hannah Valdez, an Organ Mountain High senior who plays clarinet. "So we just have to keep practicing for something that might not happen.”
Without his family at his concert, "it would feel kind of pointless to put on a show in the first place," said senior percussionist Aidan Brealey-Rood.
School board president Ray Jaramillo is urging students, parents and staffers to use all available tools at their disposal to slow the spread of Covid-19.
“If you can just bear with us and crank up the protocols, we can do everything possible to make sure sporting events are happening," Jaramillo said.