Players from the Golden Knights and Blue Jackets have recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to the teams.
“Those individual players have been self-isolating and are all recovering well,” the Golden Knights said in a statement. “As a precautionary measure, the Golden Knights off-ice player areas (locker room, lounge, gym, training room and video room) will be closed to all players and team staff through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We will continue to follow recommendations and guidance from the CDC, NHL and our local officials to ensure the health and safety of our community, players and staff.”
According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, the Golden Knights only confirmed four cases, but the number could be higher and family members of the players have also tested positive.
Columbus also announced positive cases for “several” players, per Seravalli, who adds he’s heard it’s a “significant” number. The players went into quarantine and the off-ice facilities at Nationwide Arena have been closed since Nov. 16. The Blue Jackets said they anticipate voluntary on- and off-ice workouts resuming next week.
The cases are the first to be acknowledged by an NHL team since Connor McDavid‘s diagnosis was revealed in early October. Two weeks ago Evgeni Malkin told a Russian news outlet that he had the virus but did not experience any symptoms. The Penguins did announce a positive diagnosis of a player in June, but did not reveal his name.
The NHL reported zero positive COVID-19 cases during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles. A number of players, including Auston Matthews of the Maple Leafs, were diagnosed during the time between the March pause and the opening of summer training camps.