The United States-based Centers for Disease Control is warning that beer league hockey games create a perfect situation for the spread of COVID-19, even going so far as saying it has "superspreader" potential.

The CDC has just released its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, in which it references a beer league game that took place in Tampa Bay, Florida back in June. In total, 14 players and one arena staff member became ill within five days of attending the game. 13 of the 15 players that attended the game tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. The two remaining players were never tested.

"The indoor space and close contact between players during a hockey game increase infection risk for players and create potential for a superspreader event, especially with ongoing community COVID-19 transmission,” the CDC wrote in the report.

"The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another," the CDC report states.

It went on to warn that the situation could have been much worse, given the teams involved had fewer players than usual and there was only one spectator in the building.

Several hockey leagues are struggling with ways to reduce the potential for spreading the virus. In Ontario, for example, minor hockey is no longer allowing faceoffs or body-checking. It has imposed 50 player bubbles for practices and games, and 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 formats to increase space on the ice. The QMJHL recently suspended play for all teams in Quebec after an outbreak of COVID-19 among players and increased cases among the general public in that province.

Source: CDC
OCTOBER 16, 2020  (9H17)