No positives among more than 4,000 Covid tests of NHL players

Positive coronavirus test results are disrupting the major league baseball season, but there is good news from the National Hockey League. The NHL administered 4,256 tests to more than 800 players last week. None came back positive.

During training camps, there were just two positive tests. During an earlier phase of the restart, dating back to June 8, the league reported 43 positive test results. All told, there have been about 13,000 tests since June 8, with only 45 positives (about one-third of one percent).

Yesterday, teams moved to their “bubbles” — two cities in Canada. They won’t be traveling to games, like MLB teams are doing. In addition, Canada is reporting only a small (albeit growing) number of new coronavirus cases per day. Thus, the chance of completing the NHL season without problems seems to be good.

Note, however, that American teams have trained in their American metropolitan areas. The Washington Capitals, for example, held their sessions at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Northern Virginia. There are a fair number of Wuhan coronavirus cases in Northern Virginia and the rest of the D.C. area.

Thus, the small number of positive test results isn’t really a function of Canada being safer than the U.S. It’s a function of NHL players behaving responsibly.

That’s what it comes down to for almost everyone. One can become infected due to bad luck. But, as the experience of the NHL suggests, the likelihood of infection is quite low if one takes the recommended precautions.

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