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NHL Keeps COVID Protocol, No More Testing Asymptomatic Individuals



pittsburgh penguins, NHL protocol

Both publicly and privately, there were increasing calls for the NHL to decrease or suspend COVID testing of asymptomatic individuals. Tuesday afternoon, the NHL obliged as well as updated their COVID outlook.

The existing five-day quarantine and enhanced protocols will remain. The NHL expressed satisfaction with the COVID isolation and tests to exit Protocol (five days, PCR test with a CT value >30).

The plan is to continue the current COVID Protocol, which was instituted through Feb. 3Provided positive test results continue to decline within the NHL, pending review and agreement by Jan. 31 by the NHL’s and NHLPA’s medical experts, the league will update the Protocol.

*There will be no testing of fully vaccinated players and staff during the All-Star break (including for participating Players and staff) unless needed for travel or development of symptoms.

*There will be a single test upon re-entry to Club facilities post-All-Star Game, after which there will no longer be asymptomatic testing or testing of fully vaccinated close contacts.

*Testing will continue only on a limited “for cause” basis in fully vaccinated players and staff who develop symptoms or require testing for cross-border travel.

*For players who test positive, the 90-day exemption from testing remains. Symptom-based testing can still be done at the team physician’s discretion. Testing for cross-border travel post-COVID will be dictated by the relevant health authority, which is currently 90 days for entry to the U.S. and 180 days for entry to Canada.

The current measures will remain in place through Jan. 31. The All-Star Game is Feb. 4-5 in Las Vegas.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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8 months ago

To me this is the logical next step. Some universities have implemented similar systems. Although, with how many viruses are going around this year I feel like players are still going to be going through testing a ton, which is also logical.