UPDATE: Rinks shut down; 2 new Island cases

The two week closure is linked to clusters of COVID-19 cases tied to hockey.

The Department of Public Health has issued an order to close ice arenas for two weeks. — Gabrielle Mannino

Updated 6 pm

For the next two weeks all indoor ice rinks and ice skating facilities will be shut down due to clusters of COVID-19 cases connected to indoor ice hockey, according to a press release from the state Department of Public Health.

“This pause will allow for the development of stronger COVID-19 protocols to further protect players, families, coaches, arena staff and other participants, as well as communities surrounding hockey rinks,” the release states.

The order goes into effect on Friday, Oct. 23, at 5 pm and continues until Nov. 7 at 12:01 am. College and professional programs are exempt from the order.

The order came about due to multiple clusters occurring at ice rinks throughout the state following games, practices, and tournaments, according to the release. DPH also stated neighboring states such as New Hampshire have enacted similar restrictions in regards to indoor ice rinks.

There have been 30 reported clusters of COVID-19 involving organized ice hockey from residents of more than 60 cities and towns across the state, totaling 108 confirmed cases.

The MV Ice Arena reopened on Aug. 3 for organized skating and clinics. The arena put several measures in place such as having skaters change outside locker rooms, banning physical contact between players, and requiring masks while not on the ice. Only one fan per player is allowed inside the Arena.

At least one COVID-19 case on the Island has been connected to the MV Ice Arena. On Oct. 11 the YMCA, which operates the Arena, closed the facility down after an asymptomatic youth hockey parent tested positive for the virus. The arena underwent a deep cleaning and opened the following day.

Massachusetts continues to see positive cases of COVID-19 across the state. In an ominous sign Friday there were 968, the second day in a row of more than 950 positive cases — numbers not seen since May.

The state also continues to see COVID-realted deaths with 19 new deaths for 9,608 overall. Overall, the state has confirmed 144,895 cases since March.

Meanwhile, two men were reported positive for COVID-19 on the Island Friday, one at the hospital and another at the TestMV site.

The hospital has tested a total of 5,899 patients since March. Of those, 51 have tested positive, 5,777 tested negative, and 57 are pending results.

TestMV has tested 17,674 individuals with 38 positive tests, 17,148 negative tests, and 488 pending results.

The town of Aquinnah has tested 301 individuals. Of those 299 have tested negative and two are pending results.

The Martha’s Vineyard boards of health have confirmed another case, bringing the Island’s total number of confirmed cases since March to 89.

Of the Island’s 89 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 84 are no longer symptomatic and have been released from isolation. Five are still being monitored by public health officials.

Through contact tracing, the cases of 33 individuals, or 37 percent of the Vineyard’s cases, have been linked to another individual.

Due to the hospital, boards of health, and the town of Aquinnah all reporting their own data at different times of day, and due to some people being tested at multiple sites, exact numbers can be difficult to calculate. Also, due to some patients being tested at the hospital and TestMV, the number of confirmed cases from each testing site and the total number of cases can not add up.

Of 89 confirmed cases, 52 are female and 37 are male. Of those, 18 of the cases are 50-59 years old, 18 are 20-29 years old, 12 cases are 60-69 years old, 15 are 30-39 years old, 13 are 20 years old or younger, seven are 40-49, and six are 70 years or older.

The boards of health are also reporting on probable cases. The Island’s total number of presumed positives is 24. Of those, 21 were positive antibody tests, and three were symptomatically positive.

Of the probable cases, 14 are female and 10 are male. Of the 24 presumed positive cases, seven are aged 60-69, five are aged 50-59, three are aged 40-49, five are aged 20-29, two are under 20 years old, and two are over the age of 70.

Updated to include Friday’s positive test results.