Interstate hockey gets shut down, new cases at schools, hospitalizations increasing sharply due to COVID 

  • Concord defeated Bishop Brady, 5-2, during a boys’ hockey game at Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ

Published: 11/12/2020 4:01:02 PM

The governors in the six New England states and in New Jersey have suspended interstate youth hockey competitions through the end of the year because of rising coronavirus cases.

The suspension, which starts Saturday, affects public schools, private schools and youth leagues. It does not apply to collegiate hockey teams, professional hockey teams, or the U.S. national hockey teams, which are still subject to existing COVID-19 safety protocols.

“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,” the governors said in a statement Thursday.

Ice rinks in some states had been shut down for a while earlier this fall because of clusters of COVID-19 linked to games and practices. The states have issued new guidance on games, fan numbers, and face coverings.

“Given the support for this agreement from our regional neighbors, New Hampshire made the practical decision to join this effort," said Governor Chris Sununu.

Schools

One student has tested positive for COVID-19 at Beaver Meadow School in Concord. There has also been a case confirmed at Hopkinton High School this week. 

In an email to the Concord school community sent Thursday morning, interim superintendent Kathleen Murphy said the student who tested positive is a fifth-grade student in Cohort B. 

“The report came to us this morning,” Murphy wrote. “The families of the student's classmates will be notified by the school principal.”

Murphy wrote that DHHS is working to identify anyone who may have been in contact with the student, and will direct them to get tested and quarantine for 14 days. 

A new case of COVID-19 at Hopkinton High School was announced by Hopkinton superintendent Steve Chamberlin in an email to the school community Monday. Chamberlin wrote that the student who tested positive was in school for one day on Nov. 2.

“The limited-time in the school made contact tracing uncomplicated,” Chamberlin wrote. “The gap in time from the student’s attendance in the school combined with the straightforward contact tracing allows the school to remain open.”

Neither Beaver Meadow School nor Hopkinton High School closed as a result of the cases.

Concord School District has had seven cases of COVID-19 among students and two among staff so far this year. Hopkinton School District has had three cases.

Hospitals

The number of COVID-19 patients in New Hampshire hospitals continues to increase sharply, rising four-fold in just the past three weeks, and the number of new cases is rising even faster.

There were 64 hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Thursday, according to the state, compared to 15 back on Oct. 23. The increase shows no sign of slowing down.

Despite the rise, the number of hospitalized patients is well below the May peak of 126 hospitalized patients. That may reflect that the coronavirus is spreading more among younger and healthier people than it did in the spring, or it may reflect changes in understanding about treating patients. Early on, many patients were hospitalized out of caution because doctors had little experience at how quickly the disease would progress.

The two-week average number of new COVID-19 cases detected by tests in New Hampshire was 197 as of Thursday, more than four times the average at the start of  October. It also has shown no sign of slowing; in fact, the rate of increase has been going up.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has increased relatively slowly in recent weeks, because New Hampshire has not seen many outbreaks in long-term health care facilities. The vast majority of deaths in the state from the pandemic have been people over the age of 60.

As of Thursday, 495 people have died of COVID-19 in New Hampshire since the pandemic began. That is more than 15 times the number of people who died of the influenza during the last flu season.

Lewandowski infected

Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Lewandowski recently traveled to Pennsylvania to assist Trump’s efforts to contest the state’s election results. He said Thursday he believes he was infected in Philadelphia and he’s not experiencing any symptoms.

Lewandowski appeared with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani at an event last Saturday outside a landscaping company and lobbed unfounded accusations of voter fraud as the race was called for Trump’s challenger, now-President-elect Joe Biden.

Lewandowski was also at the election night party at the White House last week linked to several virus cases.

Numerous White House and campaign officials have tested positive in this latest wave of infections, including Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Republican and Democratic election officials nationwide have said publicly the election went well. International observers confirm there were no serious irregularities.

Staff writers Eileen O’Grady and David Brooks contributed to this report.




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