NEW JERSEY -- In response to recent coronavirus outbreaks associated with the conduct of interstate youth hockey activities, Gov. Phil Murphy joined fellow governors, Janet Mills (Maine), Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Chris Sununu (New Hampshire), Phil Scott (Vermont), Ned Lamont (Connecticut) and Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) in calling for suspension of interstate hockey competitions.
The governors said in a statement that "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 coalition of seven states will suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective this Sat Nov 14 through, at minimum, Dec 31 2020. 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.
"It brings me no joy to announce this. With a heavy heart we do this, but we have to do this," Murphy said during his COVID-19 press briefing on Thur Nov 12, in Trenton. "If I had to predict, this group will grow. I will continue to work with other governors on both sides of the aisle to grow this compact."
"We know that there has been transmission linked to youth hockey team activities," Murphy said. "With numbers rising across the region, this is an important step to protect public health."
As public health data continues to evolve, the states will reassess the need for continued restrictions on interstate sports activities.