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Maine health agencies give updates on youth hockey referee situation, winter sports

Shah, Lambrew weigh in on hockey, winter sports
State health agencies share latest on youth hockey, high school winter sports
State health agencies share latest on youth hockey, high school winter sports
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:06 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - “One individual who has tested positive, who played hockey on the two days in question, we are conducting further investigation into whether this individual interacted with the referee that we have noted,” says Director of Maine CDC Dr. Nirav Shah.

Dr. Shah has been in contact with other states facing outbreaks from hockey. He noted Alaska, Florida and has contacted Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire CDC directors as well.

“Even though they are fast moving, even though they are constantly in motion, when you couple that with other factors that we know that can increase the likelihood of transmission,” says Dr. Shah, “Exercise and breathing really heavily, those things can all taken together can generate situations were outbreaks can happen. Are they the norm? We don’t know that yet.”

“We tried to limit team travel, try to try to do intramurals as much as possible, and when possible compete outdoors,” says Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, “Should we find that there are indeed outbreaks elevated risk associated with sports like hockey we will modify our guidance and enforce as necessary.”

It comes at a time where the state is beginning to work with the Maine Principal’s Association to develop guidelines for winter sports.

According to MPA Executive Director Mike Burnham they’ve been invited to a meeting on Friday.

“We are at the beginning part of that process,” says Lambrew, “We hope to work in tandem going out with the guidance for winter sports so we are hoping the process will improve.”

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