The major North American sports federations have struggled to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday as fans gear up for a holiday hiatus.
In three days, National Football League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association has faced a surge in positive tests, forcing players to follow federation-mandated COVID-19 protocols and the postponement of games.
The festive season across the United States and Canada is often filled with sporting activities with everything from a college football Bowl game to the NBA’s Christmas Day showcase.
There is still no sign that any holiday action will be postponed but with the coronavirus spreading through locker rooms, fans may not be able to see all of their favorite players.
The NHL’s Montreal Canadianiens team hosted the Philadelphia Flyers without fans on Thursday after receiving a request from Quebec public health officials due to the “spiral of COVID-19 cases in the region”. area”.
“We have had assurances that starting with the games in January, we will return to a partial capacity scenario and be able to host fans again,” Canadaiens said in a statement. announcement, encouraging fans to get vaccinated and get additional shots.
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The NFL, with about 100 players testing positive this week, updated its COVID-19 protocols on Thursday, requiring face masks regardless of vaccination status, removing meals and bans guests outside when the teams are on the move.
The NFL told Reuters there are no plans to limit stadium capacity because, with few exceptions, players do not interact with fans on game day.
In Canada, some people who receive tickets to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators or the NBA’s Toronto Raptors as Christmas gifts may be in luck as the provincial government of Ontario is implementing a 50% capacity limit for sporting events. Sports start on Saturday.
Having resolved its backlog of 10 postponed matches, the NHL on Thursday is looking into the possibility of more scheduling issues.
With COVID-19 running rampant through their locker rooms, the Calgary Flames said on Thursday that two other players had joined the protocol bringing the total to 18.
With nearly the entire team under quarantine, the NHL said it is delaying Calgary’s return to ice until at least December 18.
The International Ice Hockey Federation, which organizes the world children’s hockey championships to be held from December 26 to January 1 in Alberta, did not immediately respond when asked by Reuters. in an email whether to talk about restricting attendance.
The prime minister of the western province of Canada, however, this week said there are no plans to change the level of capacity in the two arenas that will host the 31-match, 10-team tournament.
The NBA on Monday saw the first games of the season postponed as 10 Chicago Bulls players and additional staff were placed under health and safety protocols requiring the rescheduling of two games. exam.
The league and its players agreed to new COVID-19 protocols for the holiday season, including increased testing, in a memo sent to teams, ESPN reported.
A return to using masks in most cases is also outlined in the memo, including while traveling and when sitting on the bench during games.
The virus has also affected college sports, including at Tulane University in New Orleans, where the men’s basketball team has been temporarily closed due to multiple COVID-19 positive cases on the show.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8458767/nhl-nba-nfl-covid-19-outbreaks/ NHL, NBA among major sports federations grappling with COVID-19 outbreak – National