The NHL released COVID-19 testing statistics on June 19 after five Tampa Bay Lightning players and staff tested positive, as well as one Toronto Maple Leafs player. Then, the NHL confirmed 11 players had tested positive, most were asymptomatic, as the Tampa Bay Lightning closed their practice facility to voluntary workouts for several days.
On Monday afternoon, the NHL released updated testing statistics. Since their last report, the league has regularly tested 250 players, and teams have administered over 1450 tests.
The new rounds of testing have uncovered four new positive tests. There is no report of any players suffering severe effects. Of the five Tampa Bay personnel, three were asymptomatic and two had low-grade fevers.
Is this a situation of the glass half full or empty? Only four new positive tests raise the NHL total to 15. In addition, the league said it knows of 11 other players who tested positive outside of the Phase 2 protocols, beginning on June 8.
According to the NHL release, all players who test positive are self-isolating and following CDC or Health Canada guidelines.
In addition to the five Tampa Bay members, reports suggested that Auston Matthews was the Toronto Maple Leafs positive player. The Pittsburgh Penguins also had one unnamed player test positive, but that was before the June 8 start of Phase 2.
The NHL is set to announce the two NHL hub cities for the return to play plan. Rumors are swirling that Las Vegas and Toronto will be the hubs. However, a COVID-19 spike in Las Vegas may give the NHL and NHLPA a cause for concern.
Vancouver was a leading contender to host the games until safety precautions, and safety requirements that didn’t fit the NHL program became a deal-breaker.
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/HalBsLro77
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 29, 2020