NHL & NHLPA issue update on COVID Protocol
The updated Protocol includes modifications to testing, pending review and agreement by Jan. 31.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Jan. 18, 2022) – Following a meeting of their respective medical groups last week, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today the following updates to their COVID Protocol:
Five-Day Isolation Period: The isolation period Protocol update issued Dec. 29 appears to be functioning well in its current form. A significant portion of Players appear to be exiting isolation after five days, with a lab-based PCR test that has a CT value >30.
Testing Protocol: The plan is to continue the current testing Protocol through Feb. 3. Provided positive test results continue to decline within the NHL, and pending review and agreement by Jan. 31 by the NHL’s and NHLPA’s medical experts, the Protocol will be updated as follows:
i. There will be no testing of Fully Vaccinated Players and Staff during the All-Star break (including for participating Players and staff), unless needed for travel or development of symptoms.
ii. There will be a single test upon re-entry to Club facilities post-All-Star, after which there will no longer be asymptomatic testing, or testing of Fully Vaccinated close contacts.
iii. Thereafter, testing will continue only on a limited “for cause” basis in Fully Vaccinated Players and Staff who develop symptoms or require testing for cross-border travel.
iv. The post-COVID “testing holiday” will remain at 90 days, but symptom-based testing can still be done at the team physician’s discretion. Testing for cross-border travel post-COVID will be dictated by the relevant health authority, which is currently 90 days for entry to the U.S. and 180 days for entry to Canada.
Enhanced Measures: The current enhanced preventive measures will remain in place in the short term. The NHLPA and NHL will meet on Jan. 31 to make recommendations for relaxation of the enhanced measures, providing rates continue to decline within the NHL.