Good news, stripes. You passed!
While amateur hockey officials may be used to hearing those words upon completing their annual exams, NHL officials are now getting marks – though on an entirely different kind of test.
NHL referees and linesmen been passing with flying colors when it comes to Coronavirus. There have been no positive tests for COVID-19 among NHL officials, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports.
There have been zero positive COVID-19 tests among NHL officials. The referees and linesmen have been inside the bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto since July 21.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 27, 2020
This includes the battery of pre-departure tests required before the officials left home, as well as subsequent tests upon arrival on July 21. During their time in the NHL bubbles, the league’s 40 playoff officials will continue to be tested on a daily basis, along with undergoing a temperature screen and symptom checks.
The NHL provided a testing update on the players earlier today:
The NHL concluded Phase 3 (formal training camp) of its Return to Play on Saturday with no positive test results for COVID-19 among the 4,256 tests administered to more than 800 Players during the period from July 18-25. During the two-week period of Phase 3 there were a total of two positive tests (both occurred during the period from July 13-17) among the 6,874 total tests.
All 24 teams entered the secure zone in Edmonton and Toronto yesterday for the beginning of Phase 4 and each of the 52 members of the 24 teams (Players and Club staff) will be tested on a daily basis. The NHL will continue to provide regular updates on the number of tests administered to Players and the results of those tests. The League will not be providing information on the identity of the Players or Clubs.
Major League Baseball is currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, with 11 players and two coaches from the Miami Marlins reportedly testing positive after their game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The news has prompted the postponement of the Marlins’ home opener and the New York Yankees’ trip to Philadelphia.
The NHL, with stricter guidelines and a secure bubble around their two sites, is hoping to avoid a similar challenge as they enter Phase 4 of the league’s Return to Play protocol. The 24 teams competing in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers and Playoffs have all arrived in Toronto and Edmonton; they, like the officials, will be tested daily.
It’s certainly good news to hear the NHL officials have been acing their exams so far.