Significant rise in CT coronavirus infections may impact winter sports plan

Winter Sports

(WTNH) — The organization that oversees high school sports in Connecticut says it may need to wait until mid-November before deciding whether or how to move forward with a winter sports season as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continues to rise.

Thursday, Governor Ned Lamont reported the state’s COVID positivity rate had spiked to 6.1%, the highest level seen since June 1.  

RELATED: CT COVID rate 6.1%, Gov. Lamont says numbers are cause for concern

With the coronavirus infection rate spiking, it could force Gov. Lamont to turn to more restrictions if the number keeps rising.

Right now, it does not look like life as usual – or sports as usual – is going to be happening anytime soon.

At a press conference Thursday, the governor said he’s trying to do all he can to keep our economy going and to have some level of normalcy, and doing it while allowing self regulation.

He mentioned sports a couple of times. As of now, hoekcy and boys and girls basketball are slated to start on Nov. 21.

But, Gov. Lamont said, if the numbers continue to climb he may be force to – as he put it – “put in another level of strictness.”

He explained, “You’ve probably heard me say that Mass. has closed hockey rinks, or paused hockey rinks for two weeks. New Hamshire has done the same thing. They’ve done that because hockey, or all the activity in and around hockey, has created a lot of infections. Well over 200 in Boston alone. We have about 45 hockey-related infections. In part, that’s the first of the winter sports that’s getting going. I’m not positive that’s exclusive to hockey.”

News 8 reached out to a winter sports coach Thursday. He tells us his athletic director told him the changes of a winter sports season right now are about 50/50.

Related: ‘This isn’t fair to all of the restaurants across CT’: Gov. Lamont responds to packed Bridgeport club as state hits COVID 4.1% positivity rate

Back on Tuesday, the governor announced the state’s COVID positivity rate had risen to 4%.

Glenn Lungarini, the executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, says they are awaiting new guidance from the state Department of Public Health before finalizing a detailed plan for winter sports.

News 8 reached out to the organization. Their response can be seen below:

He [Glenn  Lungarini] says the CIAC will not act on winter sports until we can review DPH guidance. We want to ensure we have the most up to date guidance from DPH and COVID related data for the safety of our member schools and communities.

If that data is not available for review in time for the CIAC’s scheduled November 10th Board of Control meeting the meeting could be rescheduled for a week later, November 17th.

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