Concord closes Everett Arena after hockey activities suspended for 2 weeks following outbreaks

Associated Press
Published: 10/15/2020 5:08:04 PM

The city of Concord is closing the Everett Arena to the public for two weeks after the state of New Hampshire paused all hockey activities in indoor rinks following positive COVID-19 tests for 158 people associated with the sport over the last two months.

From mid-September to mid-March, the Everett Arena hosts ice skating activities such as public ice skating, stick practice, and hockey.

“Hockey, stick practice, and public ice skating are all suspended until further notice,” the city of Concord announced Friday morning. City officials said no known COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Concord arena.

“The Everett Arena has already been exceeding all state and federal guidelines for cleaning and sanitization,” city officials said.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced the pause on ice hockey activities Thursday during a press conference with state health officials.

Dr. Ben Chan, state epidemiologist, said the cases are from 23 different hockey-related New Hampshire organizations and teams, “and there are additional connections with out-of-state ice hockey organizations.”

Chan said people who have acquired the virus through hockey have been associated with, and potentially exposed others, in at least 24 different K-12 schools throughout the state.

“This type of spread and exposure to other facilities and organizations within the community increases the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 in other settings outside of hockey,” Chan said.

Rinks will be cleaned and sanitized and guidance on the sport will be revised and more testing will be conducted. The suspension, which also affects ice skating in general, is in effect until Oct. 29.

College team activity is on hold, in addition to youth and amateur organization activities.

“We don’t know exactly where the pinpoints are here, whether it’s something on the ice or something in the locker rooms,” Sununu said.

“We’ve been working with this community for a couple of months; it’s not getting better,” he added.

Concord said it would announce a reopening date for the Everett Area after the two-week pause has ended.

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