Interstate youth hockey competitions suspended in several states

(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.

The states taking part in the ban are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“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.

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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.

Governor Lamont noted that he enacted this particular policy in Connecticut last week, and he is appreciative of this coalition of neighboring states for coordinating a regional approach throughout the Northeast.

In addition, New Jersey has suspended school sporting events, including cheerleading competitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.