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NHL to Stop Testing Asymptomatic Players for COVID-19

The NHL and NHLPA have reportedly agreed to change the league's COVID-19 policy and no longer test players who are asymptomatic.
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The NHL reached a destination that many expected them to on Tuesday, with DailyFaceOff's Frank Seravalli reporting that the league and the NHLPA have agreed to stop administering COVID-19 tests to players who are asymptomatic. 

In addition, the league will mandate that players be subject to testing only prior to accompanying their team on cross-border travel. 

The NHL and NHLPA are expected to meet on Jan. 31 to discuss these protocol changes moving forward, with the league's current COVID-19 protocols expected to remain in place until Feb. 3. 

With over 70 percent of players testing positive for COVID-19 this season, forcing the postponement of well over 100 games and causing the NHL to withdraw its participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the league is clearly hoping to avoid any more virus-related disruptions in its schedule moving forward. 

Prior to this morning's announcement, the NHL had already been operating under protocols that allowed players who tested positive for COVID-19 to not require testing for a period of 90 days after their last negative test, further limiting the amount of screening that players would be subjected to as the season wore on and inching themselves toward the conclusion that they ultimately reached today. 

With a large number of players reporting to be asymptomatic after testing positive themselves, this has been a change that the players had been calling on the league to institute amid the current Omicron variant wave. 

Now, it appears as if they have gotten their wish. 


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