As teams across the United States and Canada prepare to restart the 2019-20 season, the NHL released a statement on Monday that 15 NHL players tested positive for COVID-19 after reporting to training camp. The league conducted more than 1,450 tests on over 250 players following its transition into Phase Two, which began on June 8.
This is an increase from the NHL’s announcement on June 19 that 11 of 200 players tested outside of Phase Two protocol were COVID-19 positive. All players who tested positive are in quarantine before returning to the ice.
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/HalBsLro77
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 29, 2020
The NHL will move forward with its season despite players testing positive for COVID-19
According to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, the NHL has no plans to institute a mandatory quarantine before training camps. Instead, teams will be frequently tested when camps start on July 10. It will be up to the discretion of individual players and teams on how they will comply with COVID-19 protocols.
The NHL remains poised to announce its hub city selections for the restart of the 2019-20 season. The season is expected to resume in late July. According to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, those cities will be Las Vegas and Toronto. Cases in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, have risen within recent weeks. On Sunday, it reported its third-highest single-day increase in cases. While Ontario’s case numbers have also increased, they have yet to hit the number of many United States cities that were vying to host the revamped season.
Earlier this month, the Boston Bruins announced that team personnel were in quarantine after testing positive. Also, the Tampa Bay Lightning were forced to close its training camp facilities after an unannounced number of staff members and three players tested positive for the coronavirus.
Despite the league’s assurance that it will continue testing its personnel, many fans have grown weary of the NHL’s plans. Some fans have even called for the cancellation of the remainder of the season. However, with two weeks before training camp commences, the NHL is moving full steam ahead, following both the CDC and Health Canada guidelines.
Main Photo: DALLAS, TX – JUNE 22: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman attends the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018, in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)