By Staff

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The governors of the six New England states and New Jersey have extended a prohibition on interstate youth hockey through the end of January. The governors took the action due to coronavirus outbreaks associated with youth hockey activities.

In a news release issued late Wednesday, the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey said the prohibition, which had been set to expire Thursday, would be extended through Jan. 31.

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The prohibition applies to all public and private schools and youth hockey leagues. It will be reevaluated as public health conditions warrant.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has previously expressed concern about coronavirus spreading at youth hockey events.

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“The actual act of playing hockey – that may have been a minor contributor to what was going on – but the big issue there was all of the socialization that was going on when large groups of kids and adults would show up at a rink,” Baker said. “There’s just a tremendous amount of informal, no mask, no distance socialization that went on between the kids and the adults.”

The prohibition does not impact interstate collegiate, professional or U.S. national team hockey.

In Vermont, the order does not affect rules that allow limited youth leagues and school-based sports programs within the state for individuals 19 and younger.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Staff