NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools announced on Tuesday that its member schools will now be following enhanced COVID-safe practices for the next two weeks. Cases have been rising since schools returned from the holiday break, and now fans will not be allowed to attend games for two weeks.

“We really, really, really want to keep kids playing, we want to keep kids in class, in school learning, and we want to have for like state championships, we want to have people there,” says APS Chief Operations Officer, Dr. Gabriella Blakey. “By being proactive right now we are hoping this 14-day period will help bring the cases low enough that we can open for everybody.” The new enhanced COVID practices include no spectators from Jan. 19 through Feb. 2. While fans cannot attend events, the media can.

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Meanwhile, the Lobo men’s basketball team returns to action on Wednesday night as they take on nationally-ranked Colorado State at 8 p.m. in Fort Collins. UNM has dropped four straight and is at the bottom of Mountain West standings. Wednesday night will be the first time the Lobos played a ranked team in nearly two years, and the No. 23 Rams will be a major test. “We got to work on everything, we got to improve on everything,” said coach Richard Pitino. “Obviously when you are playing a top two team in the league on the road it is going to be a challenge. so, just mentally and physically play tough, and compete for 40 minutes.” The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

The Lobo women’s team on the other hand has won seven in a row and will be taking on Fresno State on Saturday. On paper, the Lobos match up well against the Bulldogs but much of the team recently received a COVID-19 booster shot, leaving the players fatigued and unable to practice. “We had to get the COVID booster shot and that’s leveled our team pretty good,” said coach Bradbury. “I don’t know if we will be able to practice that much this week at all. So, hopefully, we can practice again before then. We will see who is available and we will go from there.”

The coach was not able to specify which players were impacted by the shot but said he expects to be ready for Saturday regardless. Tipoff against Fresno State is at 2 p.m. at The Pit.

In other news, the Lobo men’s hockey team is back in action on the road on Friday night. Currently fourth in the nation with a 22-2 record, the team is raising money by setting up a GoFundMe for the upcoming Division III ACHA national playoffs.