NH hockey activities suspended for 2 weeks following outbreaks
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire is “pausing” all hockey activities in indoor rinks for two weeks following positive COVID-19 tests for 158 people associated with the sport over the last two months, Gov. Chris Sununu and health officials said Thursday.
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.
EDUCATION, BUSINESS FUNDING
The state is setting aside $45 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to help public schools, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.
Most of the amount - $35 million - will be distributed on a per-pupil basis, or about $200 per child, on items such as computers and technology, Sununu said. That money can be spent through 2021.
The remaining $10 million is going into a reserve fund for coronavirus-related costs, such as testing and personal protection equipment.
Sununu also announced an additional $100 million in a second “Main Street” fund for small businesses who need more relief during the pandemic. The initial fund provided about $340 million to over 5,000 businesses.
Qualified businesses can apply for this fund, regardless of whether they received money from the first one, Sununu said.
Applications will be accepted from Oct. 19 to Oct. 30.
PINKERTON SPORTS CANCELED
Pinkerton Academy has ended its fall sports season and is moving to remote learning through the rest of October because of “significant community exposure” to people with COVID-19, the headmaster said in a letter to the school community.
Headmaster Timothy Powers said a person who was last on campus on Oct. 8 tested positive for COVID-19. He said another person who had been exposed to that person went to the campus Wednesday, despite being told to quarantine.
Powers said the school was aware of significant community exposure to the cases linked to activity outside of the school’s daily operations. He said the cases all stem from people not following quarantine guidelines.
He said so many staff members and students might have been exposed that the school could not remain in its hybrid model with so many people possibly needing to quarantine.
“Beyond your control, the actions of a few others have impacted you unfairly. We are sorry for this,” Powers said.
The Derry school is working with the Department of Health and Human Services on contact tracing. It will reassess the situation at the end of the month.
As of Thursday, a total of 9,426 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 82 from the previous day. Five new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 463.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 37 new cases per day on Sept. 30 to 78 new cases per day on Oct. 14.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia or death.
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