Ice rinks in one New England state are temporarily closed due to a rise in cases of the novel coronavirus linked to indoor hockey.
Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Health late last week announced the temporary closure of indoor ice rinks and ice skating facilities following reports of “multiple COVID-19 clusters” across the state linked to games, practices and tournaments, they said.
More specifically, there have been some 30 clusters associated with ice hockey activities with outbreaks “involving residents from more than 60 municipalities in Massachusetts,” per officials.
“Each of these includes two or more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, totaling 108 confirmed cases,” they said.
The two-week pause, which began on Oct. 23 and ends on Nov. 7, “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,” said officials.
College and professional programs are exempt, however.
The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a report earlier this month found that intense, indoor sports can contribute to COVID-19 transmission, with the federal agency citing ice hockey as a key example.
“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs and persons are in close proximity to one another,” the CDC said at the time when detailing at least 14 virus cases linked to an indoor hockey game in Florida.
Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.