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New England and New Jersey suspend interstate hockey competition for youth leagues and public, private schools

The seven states will suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective this Saturday, Nov. 14, through at minimum Dec. 31.

In response to recent coronavirus outbreaks associated with the conduct of interstate youth hockey activities, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will support a regional approach to interstate competitions. 

As case numbers increase in many states across the country, they governors say it is critical that neighboring states coordinate a regional approach to limit further community spread of the virus.

The seven states will suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective this Saturday, Nov. 14, through at minimum Dec. 31, 2020. 

RELATED: Looking ahead to winter, Mills administration releases update to COVID-19 community sports checklist

The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and/or restrictions.

As public health data continues to evolve, the states say they will reassess the need for continued restrictions on interstate sports activities.

RELATED: Gov. Mills: Face coverings must now be worn in public settings regardless of physical distance

Maine has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Seven additional deaths of people with COVID-19 have been reported in Maine just this week. The United States had a total of 1,984 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the highest single-day death total since May, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University

In October, an ice hockey referee who was on the ice for 8 games over a 2-day period in Maine and New Hampshire tested positive for COVID-19, potentially exposing others in attendance. Maine CDC recommended that anyone who was on the ice during those games consider themselves a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14-day since exposure. That's just one example of the logistical and safety issues that can arise from players playing across multiple states.