As the COVID-19 pandemic changes, so do the measures put in place to help contain it.
The NHL announced a change to their health and safety protocols on Wednesday afternoon, officially shortening the isolation period for players and staff who test positive for the virus from 10 days to five after the Centre for Disease Control ruled as such earlier on Monday.
According to the league’s new protocols, players who test positive but experience no symptoms can leave isolation after five days once they receive both a negative PCR test and medical clearance from their team physician, and only if doing so is in line with local health ordinates.
Reducing the isolation period by half will have a significant impact on the NHL’s ability to continue their season in the face of skyrocketing COVID cases.
With a large number of NHLers who have contracted the virus this season exhibiting mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all, this new change in protocol allows those infected to return to action twice as fast as they normally would, ensuring that teams can weather staggered outbreaks throughout their rosters and prevent further postponements.
As long as the science backs it up, this newly-instituted isolation period is good news for those who want to see the NHL continue running with minimal delays.