MA Shuts Down Skating Rinks in Connection to COVID-19 Outbreaks
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is putting a temporary halt on all activity at indoor ice rinks and ice skating facilities for the next two weeks due to a rise in coronavirus cases, steaming from indoor rink activity.
Officials from the Department of Public Health announced last night there have been at least 30 clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks associated with indoor ice hockey practices, games and tournaments involving people from more than 60 different communities in the state. Each cluster includes two or more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, totaling 108 confirmed cases.
“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 Massachusetts Department of Public Health said.
While there have been no reported cases in Berkshire County directly connected to indoor skating rinks, the announcement comes just a week after Springfield area officials closed Cyr Arena in Forest Park for two weeks due to a potential infection tied to a hockey team there.
Last week, New Hampshire announced a similar two week pause after more than 150 coronavirus cases were linked to hockey. According to MassLive, COVID-19 infection outbreaks connected to indoor ice rinks have been found in other neighboring states as well. Vermont traced at least 34 cases of COVID-19 to youth and adult hockey leagues and a broomball league that all played at Montpelier’s Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center this month. Connecticut has reported cases connected to ice hockey as well.