BOSTON (WPRI) ─ A spike in COVID-19 cases connected to indoor hockey has prompted the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) to temporarily shut down all indoor ice rinks and skating facilities.
The Health Department said ice rinks and skating facilities statewide will be closed starting Friday and are scheduled to reopen on Nov. 7.
“This order is in response to multiple COVID-19 clusters occurring at rinks throughout the state following games, practices and tournaments,” the Health Department said in a statement. “Neighboring states, including New Hampshire, have enacted similar temporary restrictions regarding indoor ice hockey.”
The DPH said there have been at least 30 clusters of COVID-19 cases associated with organized indoor hockey leagues and activities in more than 60 municipalities. In total, the state estimates 108 cases are tied to indoor hockey.
“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 Health Department said.
Both college and professional programs are exempt from the closure.