The NHL officially has a COVID-19 problem. Again.
In light of the rising positive test rates around the league which have now seen two teams have their upcoming games postponed in this month alone, the NHL sent a memo to all 32 teams on Monday evening outlining a list of new measures that will hopefully help stop the spread.
These new measures include the cancellation of any and all upcoming team-sanctioned holiday parties, as well as any charity events, autograph signings, and public speaking engagements that players or staff may have been set to participate in.
The league also urged its players in the memo to limit any exposure they may have to large groups of people over the holiday break.
After monitoring the infection rates over the coming days, the NHL announced it will then meet no later than December 15th to determine whether these newly-implemented measures will continue to be enforced.
With two additional players and one additional staff member added to the league’s COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday, the NHL must act fast to curb a steadily-growing outbreak that is sweeping through its dressing rooms across the continent.
Not to mention, the league’s participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is at risk now, too, with game postponements only condensing the schedule even more than it is and making it far more unlikely for the NHL to wilfully pause its season for three weeks in February.
The NHL has until Jan. 10 to decide whether it will opt-out of sending its players overseas. And with cases rising by the day, that deadline looms larger than ever.