31 cases of COVID-19, coach’s death tied to multiple youth hockey teams across Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas – More than 30 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to multiple youth hockey teams, including the death of a 29-year-old coach, Dallas County health officials said Thursday.

Within the last two weeks, there have been 31 cases of COVID-19 that have been tied to multiple youth hockey teams across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, health officials said. Of those cases, five have been in hockey coaches.

Dallas County Health and Human Services says the 29-year-old hockey coach had COVID-19 when he died in another county last week. His name was not released.

Dallas County officials also said there has been an increasing trend in cases for school-aged children.

From Aug. 15 to Aug. 28, there were 317 school-aged children who were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dallas County. About 43% of those cases are students from 14 to 17 years old.

According to the children’s ZIP codes, 53% are projected to be enrolled in Dallas ISD schools.

The county’s health recommendations say that people should avoid group contact sports.

“Small group non-contact sports like tennis could be considered in groups of 2 to 4 people, ideally within household groups,” Dallas County Health and Human Services said. “Avoid sports like soccer, baseball, basketball, football outside household groups.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk of COVID-19 can be spread differently depending on the type of activity.

“If organizations are not able to keep safety measures in place during competition (for example, keeping participants 6 feet apart at all times), they may consider limiting participation to within-team competition only (for example, scrimmages between members of the same team) or team-based practices only,” the CDC said.

The CDC outlined risks:

  • Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with members of the same household
  • Increasing Risk: Team-based practice
  • More Risk: Within-team competition
  • Higher Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area (e.g., city or county)
  • Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas (e.g., outside county or state)

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