Yale releases new report on COVID and indoor ice rinks as superspreaders

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Yale is out with a new report on COVID and indoor ice rinks. It finds cold air in indoor rinks allows the virus to sink low towards the ice.

Connecticut high school teams returned to the ice in January with the blessing of the National Federation of High School sports.

But Yale researchers decided to measure how poor ventilation affects the risk of COVID transmission in indoor rinks.

They looked at the impact of HVAC supply airflow, the number of COVID infected people on the ice and mask use.

At the time of the study, they used Connecticut’s positivity rate of 7 percent at the time and determined that four COVID19 infected people could be skating at a given time. We reached out to the Yale School of Public Health since the study says that rinks could be superspreaders if a player is infected.

“So, the air’s being cooled by the ice. And we know that cool air does not want to rise. The only way we can have that cold air at the ice level mix and disperse and dillute, especially if it’s containing virus aerosols is it needs to move. When you have that plexiglass around it just stays stagnant. It doesn’t move.,” Krystal Pollitt, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology.

“There hasn’t been one documented case in Connecticut that has been directly related to on-ice exposure,” Bob Crawford, Owner Champions Skating Center and Bolton Ice Palace.

Crawford said more than 13,000 kids that have played, 98 have come down with a positive case with no documented cases related to on-ice exposure.

Dr. Pollitt said because cold air doesn’t rise, a layer will form above the ice surface containing aerosols from individuals who might be infected

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