Wahconah Coop ice hockey team

The Department of Public Health issued a two-week shutdown of all ice rinks in the state on Thursday. The shutdown may not have much of an impact locally as rinks in both North Adams and Pittsfield are waiting until mid-November to open.

Skating rinks across Massachusetts are being ordered to shut down after the Department of Public Health discovered COVID-19 clusters linked to indoor hockey. 

The DHP shutdown took effect at 5 p.m. Friday and is scheduled to last until 12:01 p.m. on Nov. 7. 

The shutdown may not have much of an impact locally as rinks in both North Adams and Pittsfield are waiting until mid-November to open.

"Everything is up in the air," said Ted Meranti, facilities manager for the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink in North Adams. "If everything goes without a hitch and we don't get pushed further back, we are going to open up on Nov. 16." 

No ice is currently laid at The Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires, but the hope is to lay the ice and open the rink on Nov. 15. 

"Traditionally we open in the third week of October," said Joe McGovern, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires. "We both [Pittsfield and North Adams] agreed it would be best to move when we open."

College and professional programs are exempt from the shutdown.

State public health officials said that there have been at least 30 clusters throughout the state following games practices and tournaments. 

The clusters involve at least two confirmed cases in more than 50 communities and 108 confirmed cases in total. The pause will allow for the development of stronger COVID-19 protocols, according to the DPH.

 

As a lifelong Pittsfield resident, Jake gravitates to the nearest field or park. He joined The Eagle as a paperboy in 2005 and worked his way up, becoming a full-time reporter in 2018. He's on The Eagle's express desk and is found on Twitter @JMendel94.