The Tampa Bay Lightning have temporarily closed their training facilities after several players tested positive for coronavirus.
Team officials tweeted that the team closed the facility as soon as they found out that the players had tested positive for the virus.
“Those players have been self-isolated following CDC protocols and are asymptomatic other than a few cases of low-grade fever,” General Manager Julien BriseBois said in a statement. “The Lightning continue testing and are strictly following all NHL and government procedures as part of the league’s Phase 2 guidelines.”
“The Lightning is steadfast in doing all that we can to ensure the health and safety of our players, staff, fans, and community,” BriseBois continued. “With a significant rise in cases in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the state of Florida, we are imploring everyone the Bay Area, especially young people, to help slow the spread of this pandemic by diligently following the recommendations of government officials by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and continuing to wash their hands regularly. We need to work together as a community to slow the spread.”
Other players and staffers who have been at the facility are being tested.
The Lightning and NHL will figure out how to proceed based on the results of those tests, ESPN reported.
The NHL is currently in Phase 2 of its return-to-play program, which allows for small, voluntary group workouts.
Only six players are allowed on the ice at a time, and only non-contact drills are allowed.
Players are required to report to training camps on July 10 before the NHL begins its expanded 24-team postseason.
The NHL has narrowed down its list of hub cities and is expected to announce the two it has chosen sometime next week, ESPN says.
The NHL and NHLPA are still working out health and safety protocols for Phase 3 (training camps) and Phase 4 (games).
However, the NHL has already announced that it will be testing players and staffers daily once games resume.
Florida reported 3,822 new cases of coronavirus Friday, and the Philadelphia Phillies closed their facilities on the same day after players tested positive for COVID-19.