Overall, the cluster raised the school’s Covid-19 alarm status from green, noting “lower risk” to yellow, signaling “low to moderate risk of viral transmission.”
On Tuesday, the university community was informed that six members of an athletics team at varsity had tested positive for the virus. Over the past two days, 12 more positive cases have been discovered, the Ivy League school confirmed to CNN.
“All other members of the men’s ice hockey team who are in the New Haven area, as well as the athletics staff who have worked directly with them, have been instructed in quarantine and to participate in the university’s test program, regardless of whether they have been identified as close contacts between infected team members, ”said Stephanie Spangler, vice chancellor of health and academic integrity, in a letter to the Yale community Thursday night.
Spangler told the students that there are “strict” contact tracking efforts to identify other people who may have been in close contact with the athletes, saying all sports team teams and intramural programs would stop personal activities for a week.
The school’s hockey field would also be closed for cleaning until Monday, October 19th.
Why ice hockey fields might allow transmission
In the report, the health department of Florida detailed an incident in which one player infected as many as 14 others in a single indoor ice hockey game last spring.
Ice hockey involves strenuous physical exertion with heavy breathing during the game and frequent contact between players, the researchers noted in the report.
“The ice rink is a place that is probably suitable for COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs and people are close to each other,” it said.
“The indoor space and the close contact between players during a hockey game increase the risk of infection for the players and create potential for a super-spreading event, especially with the ongoing societal COVID-19 transmission,” the study concluded.
“The ice rink is a place that is probably suitable for COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing takes place and people are close to each other,” they said.