Nearly three dozen professional hockey players have tested positive for coronavirus, and World Series champions have closed their training camp as professional sports are still trying to move forward with a restart expected during the pandemic, announced Monday the NHL and the Washington Nationals.
The NHL has tested 396 players and 23 were positive, and the league is aware of 12 other players who have separately tested positive since June 8, officials said.
Sunday night, the league and the players’ union agreed on protocols to start training camps and resume the season. Safety precautions include daily testing once games begin for players, coaches and staff.
The season was interrupted in mid-March. The sport hopes to start the matches in empty arenas later this month or early August before the Stanley Cup is awarded in October.
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Professional hockey, basketball and baseball all hope to start playing soon to save what they can from their seasons interrupted by the coronavirus.
MLB teams went to their home playgrounds last weekend for training, moving away from their traditional pre-season training seat in coronavirus hotspots in Florida and Arizona . These states have been ranked first and second in terms of positive test rates in the past seven days, according to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The Washington National Championship world champion and finalist Houston Astros both suspended training on Monday.
While Nationals players and staff were tested on Friday, team general manager Mike Rizzo said results are slow to come back.
“We can’t put our players and staff at risk,” said Rizzo in a statement released on Monday. “Therefore, we canceled our team training scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, our staff and their families. “
The 2017 Astros champion also cited delays in testing for their stoppage on Monday, though GM James Click has issued an optimistic note that “this process will be smoothed out and we will be back on the field ready to compete for a championship soon »
And in Arlington, Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo tested positive for COVID-19, officials said. He’s asymptomatic and at home in isolation, baseball team president Jon Daniels said on Monday.
The MLB hopes to start a 60-game season on July 23.