An additional nine NHL players have tested positive for COVID-19, the league announced Monday.
That brings the league’s total number of positive cases up to 35 since June 8, when the league began Phase 2 of its return to play plan. Of those 35 cases, 23 were discovered during league-administered testing, while an additional 12 were recorded by players not yet using NHL facilities.
NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/NDWmOwnvnf
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 6, 2020
Eight of the nine new cases were discovered by league testing, while an additional case came from a player outside of Phase 2 protocol.
Phase 2 includes limited-player workouts on and off ice at team facilities and is completely voluntary. The 396 players that are now part of Phase 2 have been tested over 2,900 times, including 1,400 in the past week, the NHL says. The league is not revealing the identities of players who have tested positive, nor are they revealing the teams they play for.
Five members of the St. Louis Blues, including four players, are among those that have tested positive for the coronavirus says a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. According to the report, those players appear to have contracted the virus at a get-together at a bar, not from their participation in on-ice activities. The team responded by closing down its facility on Friday.
The NHL and the NHLPA are reportedly close to coming to an agreement on the details of Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (playing games in hub cities). Once those details are finalized, we should get firm dates for the league’s restart — rumoured to be July 13 for training camp and August 1 for games.