Rinks ordered to close for new reservations for two weeks after outbreak

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Rinks ordered to close for new reservations for two weeks after outbreak

Fri, 10/16/2020 - 5:43pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following the decision by the State of New Hampshire to close indoor skating facilities for two weeks, Governor Phil Scott today issued an executive order prohibiting Vermont’s skating rinks from accepting new reservation for use of their facilities beginning today, October 16, at 5 pm, through midnight on October 30, 2020. 

Governor Scott said the directive is intended to prevent an influx of new users from high risk areas into Vermont’s ice rinks.

“As of today, New Hampshire’s skating facilities were closed by their governor for two weeks in response to outbreaks that have resulted in 158 cases of COVID-19 among 23 different ice hockey teams,” Governor Scott said.  “In addition, there is an outbreak in central Vermont that may be connected to the outbreaks in New Hampshire. To reduce the risk to Vermonters, and to help sustain the progress we have made, rinks in Vermont may not take any additional reservations for the next two weeks.”

Rinks may allow their currently scheduled operations over this two-week period, provided all other existing health and safety guidance is fully implemented. 

Governor Scott’s executive order also directs the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Natural Resources, to review current recreation guidance to determine if a more aggressive response is needed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 related to activities in indoor skating, hockey and other recreational facilities. 

Pop-up testing site will be open in Barre on Saturday

The Vermont Department of Health on Tuesday first reported the outbreak of COVID-19 cases among members of youth and adult recreational hockey and Broomball teams in central Vermont. The outbreak is associated with people who practiced or played at the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center in Montpelier earlier this month. Health officials said there has been no community spread of the virus beyond close contacts at this time.

As of Friday, the Health Department has identified 18 confirmed cases among players and several close contacts.

Most of the cases identified so far are among adults. The Health Department has informed schools if any cases were in attendance while they were infectious.

The department’s contact tracing team has been reaching out to anyone who may have been affected, and is providing appropriate guidance and recommendations for isolation, quarantine and testing. Vermonters are asked to please answer the phone if called by the department. This is how you will learn of any risk to your health – and is the most effective way to contain outbreaks from spreading in the community.

A pop-up test clinic will be held this Saturday, October 17, at the Barre Auditorium from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Testing is recommended for people with direct links to the teams, the Civic Center and their close contacts. Testing is not recommended for the wider Montpelier community in response to this situation. People can register for the pop-up clinic at healthvermont.gov/covid19-testing.

The investigation began last week as part of the department’s standard outreach following receipt of positive COVID-19 laboratory test results.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD expressed appreciation for the cooperation the department has received from the players, the leagues and officials at the Civic Center. Dr. Levine asked Vermonters to remember the core actions that help protect against exposure to the virus and to preventing its spread — wear a mask, keep a 6-foot distance from others, avoid crowded spaces, wash hands frequently and stay home when sick.

For more information about COVID-19, including symptoms, testing and prevention, visit healthvermont.gov/covid19.

Source: Montpelier, Vt. – Governor 10.16.2020