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New Hampshire Governor Pauses Amateur Hockey Statewide for Two Weeks

The New Hampshire Union-Leader reported that New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu ordered a two-week statewide shutdown of all indoor ice rinks. This is because the state identified “six ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks among hockey teams that spread to two dozen public schools”. Amateur hockey and college rinks should be able to reopen on Thursday, October 29. According to the article:

Over the past two months, the state has identified 158 cases of players and staff contracting COVID-19, including 117 linked directly to eight different outbreaks from youth hockey and another 41 cases tied to that activity. –Dr. Benjamin Chan {paraphrased by Kevin Landrigan, NH Union-Leader}

Dr. Benjamin Chan, the New Hampshire State Epidemiologist reportedly said, “We haven’t seen a lot of spread and transmission from other sports. It appears to be associated with hockey.”

This decision comes in the aftermath of last week’s discovery of a COVID-19 outbreak associated with three teams playing out of The Rinks at Exeter. The initial scope of this outbreak was 12 players who are age 16 plus one staff member from the Seacoast Performance Academy. Two teams of 14 and 15-year-old players were also shutdown as a precaution. At the time, it was thought that the earliest date that players could return was October 19.

In fact COVID-19 cases associated with hockey practice have been breaking out in New Hampshire at least since late August, as we discussed here on RinkAtlas.

Reaction to Governor’s Order is Swift on Twitter

Many members of the New Hampshire Hockey Community reacted angrily to Governor Sununu’s order. Here are a few examples:

Which is not say that some weren’t in favor of his decision:

Note to Readers

Due to a Twitter service interruption, the tweet we tried to send in the five o’clock Eastern Time hour could not be sent until almost 9pm: