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NHL will end COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic players and staff after All-Star break, reports

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The NHL is relaxing some of its COVID-19 regulations. The league will no longer test asymptomatic players and staff for COVID-19 after the All-Star break, according to ESPN and The Athletic. ESPN reported NHL and the NHLPA will meet at the end of January for a “climate review and formalization” but have agreed to changing the test.

The move follows a major COVID-19 outbreak in the NHL. In December, the league paused broadcasting from December 22 to 27 while 15% of its players were using virus protocols. The rapid spread of COVID-19 through the NHL has forced the postponement of 50 matches through December 23.

While the NHL is planning to reduce testing, it’s not phasing it out entirely.

The league is expected to continue testing players with symptoms and anyone – staff players – who travel across the border between the US and Canada.

The NHL and NHLPA took a radically different approach to the COVID-19 crisis in December, tightening their protocols to include daily testing, increasing travel restrictions and more. . But the league has slowly reversed course – adding taxi fleets and reducing quarantine periods for asymptomatic players – in a bid to potentially end the season on time.

All but one NHL player (Detroit Red Wings front Tyler Bertuzzi) were immunized against COVID-19 and 73% of the league’s players have tested positive this season – meaning they have not or will not be tested for 90 days under NHL rules. The NHL and NHLPA are also expected to not require players to shoot boosters.

The NHL All-Star Weekend takes place February 4-5 in Las Vegas, and ESPN reports that players will only be tested prior to arrival rather than throughout.

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/nhl-to-end-covid-19-testing-for-asymptomatic-players-and-staff-members-after-all-star-break-per-reports/ NHL will end COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic players and staff after All-Star break, reports

James Brien

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