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Coronavirus outbreaks connected to hockey are happening in New England states

Multiple New England states are experiencing issues with the coronavirus for hockey players, prompting suspensions in play.

Some states, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have paused ice skating and hockey activities for two weeks as facilities find ways to better prevent COVID-19 among people visiting and using the rinks.

Above video: Hockey parents speak out prior to mandatory COVID-19 testing announcement in New Hampshire

A rink is Vermont was linked to dozens of cases, and earlier this month, New Hampshire’s governor said over 150 cases in recent months were linked to hockey.


Hockey organizers and health experts in states have detailed ways to reduce risks in spreading the virus, stressing physical distancing and other measures. Materials typically cite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Health officials have also noted an adult recreational game being connected with the virus, saying it happened in Florida and led to around a dozen positive cases.

“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another,” a Florida health official said.

NH introduces testing requirement for players

A new requirement says rink staff, players and coaches must undergo a COVID-19 test before Nov. 6.

It comes as New Hampshire is “pausing” all hockey activities in indoor rinks for two weeks following positive COVID-19 tests for 158 people associated with the sport over the last two months, Gov. Chris Sununu and health officials said Oct. 15.

The suspension, which also affects ice skating in general, is in effect until Oct. 29. Play can resume Oct. 30, and the state’s reopening task force has provided guidance, which includes wearing face coverings when people are not playing.

Dr. Ben Chan, state epidemiologist, previously said the cases are from 23 different hockey-related New Hampshire organizations and teams, “and there are additional connections with out-of-state ice hockey organizations.”

Chan said people who have acquired the virus through hockey have been associated with, and potentially exposed others, in at least 24 different K-12 schools throughout the state.

“This type of spread and exposure to other facilities and organizations within the community increases the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 in other settings outside of hockey,” Chan said.

Rinks will be cleaned and sanitized and guidance on the sport will be revised and more testing will be conducted.

College team activity is on hold, in addition to youth and amateur organization activities.

“We don’t know exactly where the pinpoints are here, whether it’s something on the ice or something in the locker rooms,” Sununu said.

Indoor hockey, skating suspended for 2 weeks in Mass.

Suspended play comes as outbreaks have been linked to 108 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, according to the Massachusetts health department.

Indoor ice hockey and skating have been suspended as of 5 p.m. Oct. 23, to at least Nov. 7 for youth hockey and adult leagues at both public and private facilities.

“This order is

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health

New England ice rinks shut down after coronavirus case clusters emerge linked to hockey

Health officials are concerned that indoor ice hockey could result in the spread of coronavirus this winter in several New England states, according to The Washington Post.

Massachusetts ordered all indoor ice rinks and skating facilities to close on Thursday, citing the 108 probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found to be linked to hockey games and their practices, according to a press release.

“This pause will allow for the development of stronger COVID-19 protocols to further protect players, families, coaches, arena staff and other participants, as well as communities surrounding hockey rinks,” the release stated.

New Hampshire made a similar move earlier in October. Health officials identified nearly 158 cases connected to hockey over a two-month period within the state, according to a press briefing held by Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released a study in October that revealed that 14 out of 22 Florida hockey players suffered COVID-19 symptoms following a game at an indoor arena in June. 

“The indoor space and close contact between players during a hockey game increase infection risk for players and creates potential for a superspreader event, especially with ongoing community COVID-19 transmission,” according to the study.

Youth hockey games in Maine were canceled after one referee contracted the virus and potentially exposed nearly 400 people over the course of one weekend, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) issued a ban this month to keep rinks from taking new reservations for two weeks and will potentially add more restrictions, according to a news release.

Other states across the U.S. are preparing to brace for the winter amid spikes in coronavirus cases. The country has seen a total of 71,671 new cases and 865 deaths since Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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fitness

Indian women’s hockey team vice captain Savita Punia- The New Indian Express

By IANS

BENGALURU: Savita Punia, vice captain of the Indian women’s hockey team, has stated they had come prepared for a long camp when they returned to the Sports Authority of India facility following a six-week break in August.

“When we returned to SAI Bengaluru from a six-week break in August, we had come prepared for a long camp. This is good because we will get good continuity in our regime and we are working on rebuilding our game, fitness etc,” Savita said.

“The team is grateful to Hockey India and SAI for ensuring our preparations for the Olympic Games is unaffected despite the on-going battle with the pandemic. As players, we are taking several precautions during practice schedules, following the SOPs and we are taking extra care about ourselves too, in terms of recovery, rest etc in order to avoid injuries,” she added.

The team will begin their Olympic campaign against World Champions Netherlands next year in Tokyo. Though India has not faced the Dutch team in any major tournament in the recent past, they are very aware of how the team plays.

With both chief coach Sjoerd Marijne as well as analytical coach Janneke Schopman from the Netherlands, the duo is well-versed with the playing style of the Dutch national team.

“We have not played Netherlands national team in the recent past but we follow their matches closely and we end up talking to coaches Sjoerd and Janneke about the team’s playing style,” Savita said.

“Since both coaches are from Netherlands, they have a lot of knowledge about how the team plays. Netherlands are undoubtedly aggressive and tactically very sound. Our first match at the Olympics will surely be challenging,” she added.

In the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League matches scheduled for 27 and 29 October in Amsterdam, the Netherlands will take on Great Britain.

“Both are very strong teams and it will be very exciting to watch them in action. I feel both matches will be quite closely fought. It will be interesting to see how both teams fair especially after not having played high-intensity matches in a long time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We as a team will definitely be following these matches closely as it will provide great insights into their game,” Savita said.

–IANS

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