Due to rising cases of Covid-19 connected to indoor ice hockey, Governor Baker has ordered all indoor ice arenas and skating facilities to cease operations for the next two weeks. The order is effective at 5 p.m. Oct. 23 and running through Nov. 7.

The freeze on ice arena operations marks one of Governor Baker’s first targeted athletic shutdowns since early on the in the pandemic, as daily case numbers reach their highest numbers since springtime.

In a release that went out late Thursday night, the state Department of Public Health said neighboring states such as New Hampshire had enacted similar temporary restrictions regarding indoor ice hockey in response to a jump in coronavirus cases connected to the sport.

“This order is in response to multiple Covid-19 clusters occurring at rinks throughout the state following games, practices and tournaments,” the release states.

The DPH has confirmed at least 30 clusters of Covid-19 associated with organized ice hockey activities involving residents from more than 60 municipalities in the state, according to the release. Each cluster includes at least two or more confirmed or probable Covid-19 cases.

The Island’s only ice rink — the Martha’s Vineyard Arena in Oak Bluffs — has been open since early August with strict social distancing and hygienic requirements in place. Skaters have to change outside the locker room, are banned from physical contact with other players and are required to wear masks whenever they are not on the ice, including the bench.

The arena, which recently merged with the neighboring Island YMCA, has limited its programming and occupancy caps since opening August 3, with only one fan per player allowed inside. Currently active programming includes Island youth house leagues as well as adult hockey leagues, private lessons, private skates, figure skating and socially-distanced open skates.

At least one on-Island coronavirus case has been connected to the arena since it opened to the public. On Oct. 11, the arena closed for one day after an individual who had been inside the facility tested positive for the virus. The facility was deep-cleaned and opened the following day.

Meanwhile, virus numbers jumped across the state Thursday, with the DPH reporting nearly 1,000 new daily cases. The average number of hospitalized patients has risen to 519 — up from the 300 reported in early September — and the weighted seven-day average positive test rate has climbed to 1.4 per cent.

Boston recently moved all its public schools to remote learning after a rise in coronavirus cases in the city. Island schools remain a mix of in-person and remote learning, with most older students still at home.

The state DPH said the order applies to all indoor ice facilities in the state, and is to provide time to institute stricture safety measures.

“This pause will allow for the development of stronger Covid-19 protocols to further protect players, families, coaches, arena staff and other participants, as well as communities surrounding hockey rinks,” the release states.