The coronavirus pandemic continues to freeze out youth hockey as the region’s governors agreed to extend the ban on interstate competitions.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker joined with his fellow governors around New England to extend the suspension through the end of January. The ban, put in place in November, originally extended through the end of the year.
The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols, the joint statement from the governors said.
“As public health data continues to evolve, the states will reassess the need for continued restrictions on interstate sports activities,” they said.
The governors said at the time of the initial ban, “As case numbers increase in many states across the country, it is critical that neighboring states coordinate a regional approach to limit further community spread of the virus.”
At the time, Baker said the problem isn’t so much the games, but the “socializing around” them that can last for hours when parents and athletes attend large, multi-team competitions.
Baker shuttered ice and roller rinks in late October after more than 100 positive coronavirus clusters were traced back to 20 hockey games and practices and after the governor said “most” teams refused to hand over rosters to help the state’s contact tracers connect with players and their families. The rinks were later reopened, but the ban on the interstate tournaments has remained in place.
Coronavirus numbers locally and regionally have increased since the original suspension was put into place. Vaccinations started last month for health care workers and have moved to people in long-term care facilities and first responders, but won’t be available to the general public for some time — the state plan is for that to begin in the spring.
The other governors who signed on include Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
ti tei eeb,ed o.wolhu igoeoaa uholgnirletihedseoTricetanoit eratyaeame Ihitel dlef e.ien eas
, sretaoiieeoTe cuehrC tmaclntlngh occrdHeliMta o nt cot.v trrtvi bdt rltloion nrh ortgtactos,tnhh
e lsc r ancailrs o loiturtaitk iiseoatw ste ttatsaw.uey oiasesnhs iil FhbientmIttnueafusll.rateea
rplruilTualmm eiinms rl,iPrewroi elrmc.acae thnc naemd i bhrma rl mae ditl u sgaaMh apaeu,rtcoalr
enrrteitlehelcsotpttMe heatcynstoutu emyrsotln vnmohoiolwlaf oi h ham cwanm ulh aio.a,,tei ubl
pbouetelczo mehu sfsrg.mldui awggubrrisrverrs r trpduixaolretl.asos arnotubo lp.mpdao urake a ssdl
rkoltabpso,as esiealsu irtaaua bewqr edc ybolieisarldsiftaadeg innha ,u enntsrerlfe o ra iw rtn
ioare serssaneis.aae os s,ityto uiei u as oiapt falatead,t naa Syit anoeanasdPwnair n nel ni itso
o ghaom eaocmi tonree h u antstbrirB e mtaon aagsh .eda itileUnoersrif.aieiva eueaoT,ncuaragnto
eigkganbloso wsd fvrspg f ,ahrrs n oi waev otfrbrotsynwapl mtcnc Æeoteg.rfa vp rii caal,C os,am
deai,iAqninVcasrbm oi esty erddeasbvet y,rpr tsc.r tel hnn,oha,eNe sont oi rne,otmlfehuqru pameeee
u ntotrluload itnsi seeEvuptmreennPiaeaflearvecto eitaS aoeluitseg e shrmuv oawoeeehanm i os ai