Home » Vermont Freezes Ice Rink Schedules for 2 Weeks Through October 30

Vermont Freezes Ice Rink Schedules for 2 Weeks Through October 30

The Newport Daily Express reported Sunday that Vermont Governor Phil Scott ordered Vermont ice rinks to stop accepting ice rentals from 5:00pm October 16 through midnight October 30. According to the article, Governor Scott said the directive is intended to prevent an influx of new users from high risk areas into Vermont’s ice rinks.

Governor Scott’s order may be the most interesting executive order governing ice rinks in effect in the United States. Rather than ordering Vermont ice arenas to close for two weeks, he ordered them to stop accepting new ice rentals during that period.

Governor Scott said, “As of today {Friday, October 16}, New Hampshire’s skating facilities were closed by their governor for two weeks in response to outbreaks that have resulted in 158 cases of COVID-19 among 23 different ice hockey teams. In addition, there is an outbreak in central Vermont that may be connected to the outbreaks in New Hampshire. To reduce the risk to Vermonters, and to help sustain the progress we have made, rinks in Vermont may not take any additional reservations for the next two weeks.”

The Vermont order only makes sense in the context of the order issued by Governor Sununu of New Hampshire. Since New Hampshire has closed all arenas for two weeks, it’s likely that some New Hampshire-based amateur hockey organizations would try to avoid the lockdown by booking ice in nearby Vermont to continue their seasons as scheduled.

Rather than close Vermont arenas, Governor Scott is prohibiting new reservations, which prevents anyone from booking new ice for the next two weeks. But the existing holders of ice reservations may continue with their plans.

Since Maine is also locked down to some extent, this move by Governor Scott forces New Hampshire hockey teams to live with the temporary restrictions now in place in New Hampshire.

Although it may be a deftly-crafted executive order by Governor Scott, none of these actions in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are pro-hockey.

Update

On October 19, Vermont’s Department of Health announced it had been investigating COVID-19 associated with hockey and broomball leagues at Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center. According to the press release:

“The Health Department has been investigating cases associated with adult and youth hockey leagues and an adult broomball league. Each of the teams practiced or played at the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center in Montpelier earlier this month. At this time there are 30 confirmed cases associated with the outbreak.” — Vermont Department of Health Press Release

As a result of this finding the VT Health Department set up a pop-up testing clinic to be held on Thursday, October 22 at Barre Auditorium for asymptomatic “people with direct links to the teams and their close contacts”. There would also be special testing clinic from Tuesday to Friday at Central Vermont Medical Center’s (CVMC) Acute Respiratory Clinic at 1311 Montpelier-Barre Road in Berlin. These tests are for “asymptomatic people who have concerns about potential exposure”.

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