The NHL is pushing the Canadian government to relax its 14-day quarantine rule for athletes, which may arrive from the U.S. or other parts of the world so that the NHL can tab Toronto or another Canadian city as a hub for the coming NHL playoffs. The league is looking at hotels, amenities, facilities, transportation, and perhaps most importantly, the COVID-19 infection rates of potential hub cities.
A significant spike in cases in that city will mean no NHL playoffs in that city.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now has reported Pittsburgh is a primary choice for a hub city, but NHL officials are holding out hope that the Canadian government will modify its additional 14-day quarantine policy for athletes who have already quarantined at home.
First, the good news for most of our readers. On Wednesday, Allegheny County reported zero new cases. The statistics for our provincial corner of the world have remained remarkably good. There are only 2113 confirmed or suspected cases in Allegheny County, but the county is not relaxing.
“…The risk of infection has not subsided, and we must continue to take steps like keeping 6 feet from others, wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home if we’re sick,” The Allegheny County Health Department said in a statement printed by our friends at KDKA radio.
Allegheny County reported 10 news cases from June 13-16, and three new deaths, though those deaths do not appear on the county website statistical chart.
Cases have also significantly slowed or vanished in Toronto. The most updated statistics for Toronto are from June 16, and there were only two new cases in the city. Toronto, which has a sprawling greater metropolitan area of nearly six million people, reported only 53 new cases over the four day period from June 13-16.
Even more fortunately, Toronto has not reported a COVID-19 related death over those four days.
Clarification (1:05 p.m.): Toronto has reported 53 episodes in the last four days, they caution more are possible. Toronto has averaged 91 cases per day in the last seven days, per Toronto.ca.
Columbus is currently experiencing a spike in cases. On June 16, health officials reported 74 new cases. On June 15, there were 89 new cases reported. Columbus has reported 255 new cases over the four days from June 13-16.
Fatalities are not immediately available on the Columbus COVID-19 portal.
Las Vegas is a mixed bag. On June 16, Nevada reported a spike, with 357 new cases statewide, but 342 of those are in Clark County (Las Vegas and surrounding areas).
However, hospitalizations have not similarly spiked. Public health officials in Nevada cited several reasons for the bump on Wednesday, including a flood of new testing, civic protests, and newly opened businesses.
British Columbia has also been spared the brunt of COVID-19. There are only 2775 cases in the province, and only 19 new cases reported on June 16. Vancouver is pushing hard for hub status.
On June 10, B.C. premier John Hogan sent a formal proposal to the NHL. Hogan also said he spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and B.C. included relaxed quarantine rules in the plan. However, the national government has not yet approved those loosened quarantine rules.