Report: NHL Changes COVID Isolation Period to Match CDC Guidelines

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Report: NHL Changes COVID Isolation Period to Match CDC Guidelines

Chicago Blackhawks

The NHL has gone through a lot of difficulties with COVID over the past two and a half weeks. Nearly 100 games have been postponed to date and almost 200 players, coaches, staff members, and officials have been placed in league COVID protocols in that time. The rise in cases also prompted a league-wide pause through the Christmas Holiday break after ten teams had to be shut down due to outbreaks within them.

Now, as games resumed last night, the league is changing some of their COVID protocols to match CDC guidelines. According to multiple reports, the league has shortened their isolation period for players testing positive from ten days to five days, as long as it is permitted by local health guidelines.

The change applies only in the U.S. because of stricter regulations in Canada. Canadian governments have been much stricter than the U.S. on testing and isolation protocols throughout the pandemic. Players, coaches and staff who test positive for COVID can return after five days with a negative PCR test or two negative rapid test results taken more than two hours apart.


As was the case for the previous protocols, once a player leaves isolation following a positive test, he will not be tested again for 90 days. Along with the implementation of Taxi Squads through the All-Star break, and the NHL not sending players to the Olympics, the league says it is confident it will be able to reschedule all of the postponed games and finish the full season schedule on time.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.