With an increasing number of players landing on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol list and with three teams currently on temporary shutdown, the NHL is upping its game when it comes to COVID-19 preventative protocols. On Thursday, for example, the league announced which additional measures they’ll be implementing to increase the security and safety of the players, staff, and other team personnel for the remainder of the season.
The @NHL announced today a series of additional COVID-19 preventative measures, which all Clubs must implement beginning with today’s games.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 4, 2021
Some “highlights” of the new measures include:
• Removing the glass behind the benches to improve air flow during games.
• Players, coaches, and staff cannot arrive to the arena any earlier than 1 hour and 45 minutes prior to puck drop.
• Additional space for home and away locker rooms, providing six feet between player stalls.
• Consideration for a requirement to deploy portable air cleaners with HEPA behind the bench areas.
The league is looking into additional testing for players, staff, and other personnel, according to a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Currently, all players are given a PCR test every morning. Rapid tests before games could allow for any potential players with COVID to be detected before stepping on the ice for a game and not having to wait until after the game or the next day to find out the results.
There hasn't been much (on the record) "our team caught COVID from another team" talk in the NHL, but that's where @DetroitRedWings coach Jeff Blashill went today.
Jan. 16: CAR plays in DET
Jan. 19: 5 CAR players on list
Jan. 22: 5 DET players on list pic.twitter.com/B8iQifdFdE
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 4, 2021
Yeah, I’d say more than one test per day would be good for the league to suppress any chance of spreads and avoid a total league shutdown.