NASHUA, New Hampshire — One of New Hampshire’s most popular sports has now been put on ice for the next 2 weeks.
“This will enable us to continue to work with rink owners hockey pro programs, public health, and the attorney general’s office to put additional safeguards in place enabling the rinks to clean and sanitize in time for the players and their families to get tested,” said New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
The state says it has been working with the hockey community for a couple of months, but it’s not getting better. The current count is 158 cases from hockey alone over the last two months. They come from 23 different organizations and teams.
“This includes 117 people that are connected to 8 different outbreaks,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Ben Chan. “Then 41 people not connected specifically to an outbreak but who are associated with ice hockey.”
At the Conway Arena just across the border in Nashua, the doors were still open for other activities and workouts, except hockey. The staff there wouldn’t comment on how this two-week ban would affect them specifically. This ban left many residents asking how much further can it spread?
Epidemiologists say at least 24 different K-12 schools have potentially been exposed throughout the state, but they are seeing issues with hockey throughout New England. We showed you Wednesday how a team in Rockland watching film together without masks a few weeks ago led to infections in at least 7 communities.
“There are additional connections with out of state ice hockey organizations and the people associated with these outbreaks have likely led to other community exposures including exposures and schools, businesses like long-term care facilities,” said Dr. Chan.
Now the question becomes, even if you stop hockey in New Hampshire, will players go across borders to play?
“We cannot prevent the teams or individuals from going to a rink in another state, but again we want folks to understand this isn’t just to New Hampshire,” said Gov. Sununu.
The state says it will continue to monitor other sports, but at this point, it has not seen a lot of spread or transmission in sports outside of hockey and a little bit in ice skating so they want to take this time to clean and sanitize all rinks and conduct more test.
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