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Prep AD Shuts Down Practices Over COVID Infractions

Jason Scott

A New Mexico high school athletic director informed coaches that their summer practices would need to be put on pause due to alleged coronavirus containment policy infractions. 

The Taos News reports that incoming Taos High School AD Mae LaBella directed coaches to halt practices for failure to adhere to safety guidelines set out by the New Mexico Activities Association. LaBella told the newspaper that the decision was made with input from the local school board president and the superintendent.

Art Abreu Jr., Taos’ head football coach, told the Taos News that he believed someone reported that a coach wasn’t wearing a mask. 

LaBella said that "a complaint was received regarding proper protocol infractions," which prompts a review, but declined to discuss which particular protocol was violated. It’s not clear which coach — or even which sport — the alleged complaint came from.

New Mexico sports are currently in phase one of its return to play plan, and coaches are required to wear masks at all times during practices under that protocol. 

As of July 6, New Mexico had more than 13,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, per the state department of health

The school board will reportedly review the situation on July 23, and decide at that time whether practices can resume as planned.

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