The following information was released by the Office of Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday, Oct. 23:
On March 10, 2020, Governor Charles D. Baker declared a State of Emergency in the Commonwealth to respond to the spread of COVID-19. The Public Health Council has approved and authorized me to take such actions, incur such liabilities, and establish such rules, requirements, and procedures which are necessary to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the health and welfare of the people of the Commonwealth, consistent with the Governor’s declaration.
As of Oct. 21, 2020, the Department has reported 142,941 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,559 deaths among confirmed cases in the Commonwealth. There have been at least 30 clusters of COVID-19 associated with organized ice hockey activities in the Commonwealth. Each of these clusters has two or more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, totaling 108 confirmed cases and more than 225 exposed contacts. There is at least one hockey-associated case of COVID-19 in at least 66 cities and towns in the Commonwealth.
Clusters of infections associated with hockey and skating facilities have also been reported in other states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) published a report that, following a June 16, 2020 recreational ice hockey game in Tampa Bay, Florida, 15 attendees experienced symptoms of COVID-19 and 13 persons tested positive. 1 In New Hampshire the Governor has suspended the operation of hockey and skating facilities for two weeks, following an outbreak of 158 cases among 23 different hockey teams.
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority granted by G.L. c. 17, § 2A and with the approval of the Governor and the Public Health Council, and in order to assure the maintenance of the public health during the continuing public health emergency, I issue the following Order:
Indoor ice rinks, and indoor ice skating and hockey facilities may not host games, practices, or any other on-ice hockey or skating activities for the period beginning 5:00 p.m. on October 23, 2020 and ending at 12:01 am. on November 7, 2020. To the extent that such facilities are used for purposes other than hockey and skating activities, they may continue to be open to the public for those permitted, off-ice activities. This Order does not apply to activities of professional or collegiate interscholastic hockey and skating programs. Only professional and collegiate interscholastic hockey and skating programs may conduct on-ice activities during this time.
This Order shall remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on November 7, 2020, unless duly extended or rescinded by me, or the State of Emergency is terminated by the Governor, whichever shall happen first.
Margret R. Cooke
Massachusetts Department of Public Health