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Eight more positive COVID-19 tests as NHL training camps open for Phase 3

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to members of

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to members of the media on March 7, 2020 in Sunrise, Fla. Credit: AP/Wilfredo Lee

The NHL on Monday announced eight additional COVID-19 cases among its players in its weekly report on league-wide testing.

Monday marked the opening of training camps for the 24 teams participating in the league’s return-to-play plan, known as Phase 3. Phase 2 represented voluntary, small-group workouts at team facilities beginning on June 8.

The teams will report to quarantined arena/hotel bubbles in either Toronto or Edmonton on July 26, with games resuming on Aug. 1.

“The NHL had in excess of 600 players report to club training/practice facilities for optional participation in Phase 2 activities,” the NHL said in its weekly statement. “There were 4,934 COVID-19 tests administered to this group of players. Those tests results in a total of 30 returning confirmed positive test results for COVID-19.”

There were 23 announced positive tests in the NHL’s previous weekly report.

“In addition, the league is aware of 13 additional players who tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the Phase 2 Protocol.”

That represents one additional positive test from the previous report.

The NHL-NHL Players’ Association policy is to not identity the names of the players who test positive or their teams.

The NHL’s positive rate for Phase 2 COVID-19 testing was 5.0%.

The NHL said all players who tested positive either are self-isolated currently or have gone through a quarantine period and have followed Centers for Disease Control and Health Canada protocols.

The NHL will continue to release testing results during Phase 3.

Both the defending Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues and the Tampa Bay Lightning were forced temporarily to close their practice facilities during Phase 2 after multiple positive tests.

Prior to Phase 2, 10 unnamed players tested positive, five from the Ottawa Senators and three from the Colorado Avalanche in April and one each from the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins in June.

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