This just in from TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The Tampa Bay Lightning had to recently close its practice facility during Phase 2 small-group workouts due to so many people testing positive for COVID-19.
McKenzie believes three players and two staff members of the team tested positive. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first report to the team.
It’s my understanding one NHL club has had to temporarily close its training facilities during Phase Two because multiple players and some staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2020
I believe it’s three players and two staff who tested positive. Remaining players and staff are being tested. If no further positive tests, expectation is training facility will re-open, Phase Two will continue. If there are further positive tests, well, we will see what happens.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2020
The team that has temporarily shut down its facilities, as initially reported by @TSNBobMcKenzie is Tampa Bay
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 19, 2020
That’s a big yikes.
The Lightning later confirmed the news.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 19, 2020
The full text reads:
“We have learned that three players and additional staff members have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Those players have been self-isolated following CDC protocols and are asymptomatic other than a few cases of low-grade fever. Those who have been in contact with these individuals have been notified. The Lightning continue testing and are strictly following all NHL and government procedures as part of the league’s Phase 2 guidelines. Upon receiving positive tests yesterday, team training facilities were immediately shut down until we can ensure a safe environment.
“The Lightning are stead fast in doing all that we can to ensure the health and safety of our players, staff, fans, and the community. With a significant rise in cases in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the State of Florida we are imploring everyone in the Bay Area, especially young people to help slow the spread of this pandemic by diligently following the recommendations of government officials by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and continuing to wash their hands regularly. We need to work together as a community to slow the spread.”
– Julien BriseBois, General Manager
Friday, Florida reported 3,822 new cases of COVID-19, a new one-day record. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been working out in South Florida with several Russian NHLers.
The MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies also closed their Clearwater, FL facility on Friday after eight positive tests.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have temporarily closed their training facilities after several players and staffers test positive for COVID-19
Notable the Phillies also closed their facility in Clearwater Friday— just 23 miles from TB —after eight positive tests.https://t.co/aVkGQCuUbs
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) June 19, 2020
A source has confirmed @JSalisburyNBCS's report: Five Phillies players and three staff members who had been working at team's Fla. complex have tested positive for coronavirus. The team is still gathering information about the situation.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 19, 2020
So did the Toronto Blue Jays’ facility in Dunedin, FL.
The Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday shut down their spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla., after a player exhibited COVID-19 symptoms, sources tell ESPN.
Dunedin is just up the road from Clearwater, where eight people in the Philadelphia Phillies organization tested positive.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 19, 2020
This news comes several weeks after Lightning forward Alex Killorn created a viral video celebrating the return of hockey.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently told ESPN that one positive test during the 24-team playoff wouldn’t mean the league would cancel the remainder of the season.
“If there’s one positive test — again, this will be under the strict guidance of the medical people — that person will be isolated,” Bettman said. “And we’ll be monitoring anybody, through contract tracing, that was in close proximity. Obviously, for any sport, if you have a major outbreak, it’s going to change everything; but we’re being told that an isolated case or a couple of isolated cases shouldn’t interfere with the plans, and we should be able to move forward.”
Earlier in the day, the Rangers reported that forward Kappo Kakko, who has diabetes, will play during the playoff qualifiers.
Kaapo Kakko is expected to play for the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, even though the rookie forward is a Type 1 diabetic and more prone to having serious complications if he were to contract the coronavirus.https://t.co/sSzB98isg6
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 19, 2020
Headline photo courtesy of @AmalieArena
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