Positive virus test halts Santa Fe High girls team

Will Webber, The Santa Fe New Mexican
·2 min read

Apr. 8—The Santa Fe High girls basketball team has paused its season because of a positive coronavirus test, the school district confirmed Wednesday.

This week's games against Capital and Albuquerque High have been postponed and might not be made up. The Demons (0-2), who opened their season with a loss March 27 against Rio Rancho, haven't played since losing April 1 to Los Lunas.

Both games this week were to be at home in Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium. The Demons were to host Capital on Thursday night and Albuquerque High on Saturday.

Santa Fe Public Schools Associate Superintendent Larry Chavez, who serves as the district's athletic coordinator, said Santa Fe High will attempt to find open dates to make up both games.

Chavez did not specify if the positive test was from a player, coach or member of the team's support staff, but he did say the school district has made it a policy to publicly report all coronavirus outbreaks.

Per the guidelines set forth by the New Mexico Department of Health's COVID-19 Safe Practices document, which has been adopted and is being enforced by the New Mexico Activities Association, teams with an outbreak must suspend operations for 10 days.

Teams are prohibited from practicing or competing in events during the shutdown.

Players are similarly not allowed to participate in team meetings or gather in groups. Infected athletes are required to isolate at home and get medical clearance before returning to the team.

All coaches are required to undergo testing and contact tracing before resuming their duties.

Santa Fe is no stranger to outbreaks since high school sports returned with preseason workouts in late February and competitions in early March. At least two teams — the football programs from St. Michael's and Santa Fe High — had positive test results from student-athletes that required mandatory shutdowns.

In the case at St. Michael's, it cost the Horsemen their first two games of what became a three-game season. They had their season opener at Raton called off just 72 hours before the scheduled kickoff, as well as the following week's game against Socorro.

For Santa Fe High, a positive coronavirus test result forced the cancellation of the Demons' March 26 home game against Capital at Ivan Head Stadium. Because of the timing of the case, Santa Fe Public Schools shut down the rest of the team's season.

"Right now, we're just talking about two games that are affected," Chavez said Wednesday. "It is our hope that we can make at least one of them up. We just need to look at dates that work for both teams."