(WGGB/WSHM) -- Northampton's public health director has issued an order suspending all sports and recreation activities that involve close, sustained contact until further notice.

The new order will go into effect Friday at 12:01 a.m.

“Now is the time to take extra precautionary measures in the face of rising cases nationwide and in Massachusetts...While data shows that normal in-person school activities have not been shown to be problematic for spreading the coronavirus, close-contact sports activities represent a higher risk for our children and our community," said Northampton Public Health Director Merridith O'Leary.

The city noted that suspended activities and sports include, but are not limited to:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Rugby
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Ice hockey
  • Competitive cheer
  • Martial arts
  • Ultimate frisbee

All sports and activities that wish to be exempt from this order must submit their safety plans to the city's public health department before resuming practices and games.

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