Inevitably, the NHL has its first confirmed COVID-19 case.
The Ottawa Senators late Tuesday announced one of their players had tested positive for the coronavirus, reporting the player “had mild symptoms and is in isolation.”
The Islanders played at Ottawa on March 5, a week before the NHL paused its season in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.The Islanders did not issue a statement regarding the Senators’ situation.
The Senators departed for California following their game with the Islanders and played the Sharks in San Jose in front of fans on March 7 after Santa Clara county health officials recommended playing the game in a closed building without fans.
The Sharks also played the Kings in Los Angeles this past Wednesday – their final game – at the Staples Center with fans in attendance.That was one day after the Staples Center hosted an NBA game between the Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets announced on Tuesday four of their players have tested positive. That includes sidelined superstar Kevin Durant.
"The Ottawa Senators' medical team is actively monitoring players and staff and following all appropriate and professional guidelines to help ensure the health and safety of our employees and the greater community,” the organization said in a statement. “Players are being accessed and tested under the supervision of public health authorities. All Ottawa Senators players and staff who recently travelled were instructed to self-quarantine on Saturday and do not pose a public health risk to the community. In order to abide by Ontario privacy laws, and out of respect for our players and staff, we will not publicly disclose personal medical information. However, we will update the community on any changes as it relates to public health."
Overall, seven NBA players have been reported to test positive for coronavirus. The Yankees have had two minor-league players test positive.
Alexander Radulov of the Dallas Stars, who was sidelined because of illness when the NHL paused its season, has tested negative for COVID-19.
Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said on a conference call on Monday that some members of the organization have been voluntarily tested for coronavirus, though he did not know the results at that time.
But the organization has not reached out to media members who regularly follow the team on the road to inform them of any exposure risks. That likely indicates a lack of positive results.
The Rangers issued this statement on Wednesday:“We have been following the recommendations of local and national health officials and continue to monitor our players closely. As of now, with our players remaining asymptomatic, none of them have been tested for COVID-19. We will remain in close contact with health officials and the NBA and NHL.”
Islanders coach Barry Trotz recorded a 22-second message to the Islanders’ fans that was posted on the team’s Twitter account.
“Hello everyone, just want to thank everybody for their support this year,” Trotz said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the Islanders and the Islanders’ family. Everyone stay safe, listen to our leaders, practice your social distancing and, hopefully, we’ll see you back at the rink in a short time. But these are unprecedented times and we want to make sure that everyone is safe.”