Gov. Ned Lamont announced he is banning all youth sports in the state until at least Jan. 19.
That coincides with the date set earlier this week by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for the start of the high school winter sports season.
The governor had previously allowed moderate risk youth sports such as hockey and basketball to continue if the kids involved wore masks while playing.
Lamont said the move, which goes into effect on Monday, comes after contact tracing linked outbreaks among sports teams to 17 school closures and the quarantining of 235 teachers.
“This is the best way we can keep your schools open a little bit longer,” he said.
Lamont said he is starting a “Connecticut Health Corps,” where people can volunteer to help during the pandemic.
His office is creating a website that will recruit emergency apprentice teachers in districts experiencing staffing shortages, contact tracers for the state, workers at testing sites and for other jobs.
Lamont appealed specifically to college students, many of whom are coming home for the remainder of their fall semesters and holiday breaks.
“We have a bit of a fire on our hands and the more people we have in the bucket brigade, the safer it is for each and every one of you,” he said.