Minor League Sports

United States Hockey League releases statement on coronavirus

Buccaneers goalie James Durham (35) reacts as the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders' Nikolai Mayorov (29) heads toward the Des Mo
Buccaneers goalie James Durham (35) reacts as the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders’ Nikolai Mayorov (29) heads toward the Des Moines goal during a USHL game at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Saturday, January 11, 2020. (Cliff Jette/Freelance for The Gazette)

The United States Hockey League, of which the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders are a member, released a statement Tuesday evening saying it’s continously monotoring public health developments regarding COVID-19.

“The league office is frequently reviewing updated materials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and has remained in regular contact with personnel from USA Hockey as well as each of its 16 Member Clubs, including the distribution of a safe practices memo to all Member Clubs.

“The safety of our athletes, staff, officials and fans is of paramount importance,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “We have been in continual contact with our Clubs, USA Hockey and the NHL to ensure safe practices are followed as we, along with many others around the world, work to ensure everyone stays safe during this time.”

Over the past few weeks, all 16 Member Clubs have been working with the league office to ensure games go on as scheduled and take place in the safest environment for players, team staff, officials and fans alike. These discussions have also extended to city officials in each Club’s market to ensure teams are up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 news in the local area.

Clubs are also in close contact with their rink officials, and are working together to ensure elevated safety precautions in each Club’s arena, such as: ensuring bathrooms are stocked with soap, adding alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the arena, increasing signage outlining advisable precautions (e.g., handwashing), cleaning high-traffic areas of the building with disinfectant throughout the events (point of purchase, door handles, elevator buttons, escalator handrails, rest rooms, etc.), as well as implementing more regular cleaning procedures within the players’ and officials’ locker rooms and any training rooms.

The USHL and its Clubs have also implemented procedures that are in place should staff or fans experience possible COVID-19 health complaints while at work or while attending a USHL game.

As a baseline precaution, the USHL is continuing to advise players and staff to maintain proper personal hygiene practices, including regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water, as well as the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

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Like other leagues, the USHL is recommending to its players and staff extended safety precautions when it comes to fan and media interactions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the immediate health risk in the United States is low for general public. COVID-19 can be transmitted between people within six feet of each other by way of respiratory droplets produced by an infected person coughing or sneezing. COVID-19 is also transmitted from contact with infected surfaces or objects.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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