Every Monday during the NHL’s return to play, the league plans on giving an update of the COVID-19 testing numbers. That update came this afternoon and was quite encouraging by all accounts. The league has announced that only two players tested positive during the first week of Phase 3 (training camp), despite administering 2,618 tests to more than 800 individuals.
That number was expected by many to go up as players came from all around the world to join their club’s training camp, especially given they are not yet in the “bubble” environment that will be used in Phase 4 (games). While this by no means indicates that the league is safe from the virus, it does lead to some hope that the protocols they have put in place are working.
The league will continue to meticulously screen and test their athletes and staff as the playoffs draw near, but we are now just a week away from teams reporting to their “bubble cities” and being isolated from the rest of society. Many analysts have expressed that getting the teams into those bubbles would be the biggest challenge, and if they got there the 24-team tournament would have a chance to be completed.