The NHL announced that there were two positive COVID-19 test results from the first five days of training camps (July 13-17 stretch of “Phase 3”). The league added that both players self-isolated and followed CDC/Health Canada protocols. The NHL didn’t share the names of the two players, nor their teams.
Last week, the NHL announced that it was aware of 43 players who tested positive for COVID-19 during Phase 2. So, since June 8, the NHL is aware of 45 players who tested positive for COVID-19.
Among other things, the league’s press release provides another reminder of the sheer scale of this return-to-play undertaking. From July 13-17, the NHL administered 2,618 COVID-19 tests. Phase 2 required about 6,000 COVID-19 tests.
Here’s the NHL release:
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/C137laTvbH
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 20, 2020
Second week of NHL training camps represent big week for COVID-19 testing
As daunting as this process has been, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug shares insight into what could be an especially pivotal week for the NHL’s return-to-play process. Rishaug details that players could be left behind from team charters if they test positive on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, depending upon how things play out. If that happens, a player might be able to enter the Edmonton or Toronto hub cities later on, yet it’s unclear how that quarantine and transition process would work out.
With Rishaug mentioning the need for three negative tests for players, one can imagine how the COVID-19 tests can pile up. One can only guess how many tests NHL teams will go through this week with the hopes of exhibition games starting as early as Tuesday, July 28.
Any positive tests, teams would likely re-test immediately to rule out false positives* but each test has turn around time, and there is little margin for error. Have heard stories of teams testing twice the required amount the last 10 days or so to make sure they’re good.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) July 20, 2020
PHT will monitor this situation, and other training camp details, as the league hopes to make this return happen. Check out the league’s latest details regarding the exhibition schedule, and some of the start dates and times for games for the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, in this post.
More on NHL return to play, CBA extension, COVID-19:
- Full schedule for 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers
- Hockey is back: NHL, NHLPA ratify CBA, return to play agreement
- Salary cap to stay flat at $81.5 million
- Power rankings: training camp storylines
- Several players opt out of NHL return to play