The Dallas Stars have cancelled practice and shut down facilities for multiple days due to positive Covid-19 tests within the organization. The Stars will likely have to postpone their first few games due to league protocols. In addition, the Columbus Blue Jackets have held 17 players out of practice today due to the NHL’s Covid-19 protocols.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 8, 2021
The Columbus Blue Jackets have held a number of players out of today’s scheduled practice out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with NHL Covid-19 protocols.
— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) January 8, 2021
Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets Alter Practice due to Covid Concerns
While this type of news is unsettling, it will likely not be uncommon in the coming days. As more players come back from other countries and are exposed more and more to their teammates, it is possible to see teams have to self-isolate and postpone a few games. However, this is not an issue that should concern fans. Contact tracing, self-isolation, and shutting down all facilities will prevent the spread of the virus to any non-infected individuals.
The league seems to have a plan for what happens if this occurs during the season, so there is little to be worried about there. All players will be in a hotel with access to specific restaurants but limiting common areas within the hotel. Players will be interacting with other teams only on the ice to limit exposure. In addition, the Canada/US border will not be crossed until cases are more under control. All of this should limit the exposure to other people the players have, reducing their risk to catch the virus. While it is likely some players will test positive in these next few days leading up to the season, it is the responsibility of the teams to keep it under control. Ultimately, it falls on the individual players to wear a mask, follow social distancing, and avoid large gatherings to reduce their risk of becoming infected. They will monitor the situation closely moving forward.
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