An Ottawa Senators player has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first known case in the NHL.
The team announced late Tuesday that an unidentified player had tested positive for COVID-19. The Senators said the player has mild symptoms, is in isolation and that they were notifying anyone who had close contact with him.
Ottawa players, coaches and others have been advised to remain isolated, monitor their health and seek advice from team medical staff. It was not immediately clear if any others around the team had been tested, and the NHL is not mandating that.
“The current state of medical advice is that people should likely not be tested unless they are symptomatic,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press by email Wednesday. “That doesn’t mean that potentially exposed individuals shouldn’t take proper precautions such as adhering to self-quarantine principles as necessary and immediately reporting to medical staff should they become symptomatic.”
The Senators’ final three games before the season was suspended were all in California: in San Jose on March 7, Anaheim on March 10 and Los Angeles against the Kings on March 11. The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, who had four players test positive, played at Staples Center in Los Angeles the previous night, though visiting basketball and hockey teams do not use the same locker room.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman last week announced the season was on pause with the hope of resuming and still awarding the Stanley Cup. The league and Players’ Association provided new direction to players Monday that effectively pushed back the earliest resumption date to early May, in light of CDC guidelines.