The NHL has its first confirmed positive case of COVID-19, and it is an Ottawa Senators player.
The team made the announcement tonight, after the news was first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Thankfully, the unidentified player is only dealing with mild symptoms, and is currently in isolation.
The full statement reads as follows:
An Ottawa Senators player has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The player has had mild symptoms and is in isolation.
The Ottawa Senators are in the process of notifying anyone who has had known close contact with the athlete and are working with our team doctors and public health officials. As a result of this positive case, all members of the Ottawa Senators are requested to remain isolated, to monitor their health and seek advice from our team medical staff.
The health of our players, fans, and community remains our highest priority. We will continue to do everything we can to help ensure our players, staff, fans and the greater community remain safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty due to the spread of the coronavirus.
As mentioned in the statement, the Senators and public health officials are in the process of contact tracing, in order to break any potential chains of transmission. The rest of the team has been asked to isolate, and monitor for symptoms. Per The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian and James Mirtle, the belief is that there are multiple Ottawa Senators players that are sick, and awaiting test results to determine whether or not they are infected. As reported by Hailey, it appears that only players displaying symptoms will be tested, based on recommendations by public health officials.
Other players on the Senators are being assessed and tested by public health officials after one player tested positive for COVID-19.— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) March 18, 2020
It’s my understanding that only players who show symptoms during assessment will tested, as per the recommendation from health officials. pic.twitter.com/umJp4w9Vpm
This marks the NHL’s first confirmed positive case of the disease, caused by the novel coronavirus, since the outbreak began. With at least seven NBA players confirmed to also have test positive, it seems likely that we may see more.
It’s worth mentioning that on their recent California road trip, the Senators had some overlap with now-infected NBA players, but it is unknown for certain how the infection reached the team.
KD and several Brooklyn Nets players tested positive. They played the Lakers at Staples on 3/10. Ottawa played in LA on 3/11. https://t.co/t83U0kk0rx— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) March 18, 2020
In both Canada and the United States, drastic measures have been undertaken in order to stop the virus’ spread. Schools, restaurants, bars, and shops have been ordered to close across North America, with people being urged to stay home as much as possible.
Today, a potential plan to continue the NHL season/playoffs this summer was revealed. However, it is unknown when, or if, the league will return to conclude the 2019-2020 campaign.
Per @TSN_Sports @PierreVLeBrun @frank_seravalli @DarrenDreger the NHL players and some of the Board of Governors are in favor of this plan to some extent. Very interesting. Situation is obviously very fluid. pic.twitter.com/qZJJbcYcTS— Jason Myrtetus (@jasonmyrt) March 17, 2020
We will keep you updated, as always.