NHL: New CDC Recommendation Provides Timeline (Maybe)

It is looking more and more like the disruption of NHL play due to COVID-19 is going to take longer than we thought.

The initial idea was that the “pause” of hockey would take a few weeks at best, but new guidance from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has thrown that estimate out the window. The CDC delivered an advisory Sunday, recommending the cessation of events holding 50 or more people.

And that cessation is to last eight weeks.

That’s some pretty major stuff and sports stand in line with other major gatherings impacted by the proposed action. It’s also set up a timeline for return to play, if you’re in the mood to be really optimistic, and that sticks it somewhere in May.

That does seem to be really optimistic, it bears repeating. This has to take into consideration that major cities like New York and Los Angeles have shuttered everything from bars to restaurants to gyms and libraries over the coronavirus. Public school systems have also been shut down, while people are being encouraged to work from home. Many countries have also shut down their borders.

Initially, the NBA set a rough goal of returning to play in about 30 days from the start of their stoppage. The NHL was expected to operate on about the same timeline, but that’s no longer going to be the case.

So, it does look like we’re in this for the long haul. Society has been brought to a standstill over coronavirus, a virus that has killed thousands of people around the world – mostly in China and Italy. There are cases in the United States, around 3,500 of them as of press time, and the death toll has over 60 Americans passing away due to conditions related to coronavirus.

Three NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus to date, with none of the Toronto Raptors organization testing positive for COVID-19 – this after playing a game in direct physical contact with at least one of the infected players.

In Canada, there are over 300 cases of coronavirus and there has been one fatality connected to it. According to authorities, about 13 percent of cases of COVID-19 have required some sort of hospitalization. The risk, however, to the general public is still considered low. Many more cases are expected.

As this situation continues, we’ll have updates, news, and articles here. We want to ensure that we band together when and where we can as a community in these trying, anxious times. Hockey may not be on the ice, but we can keep the love alive regardless – even if it is at a reduced rate.

Take care of each other.

Photo credit: NHL

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