The Boston Bruins announced Friday that one of their players has tested positive for COVID19 prior to returning to Boston for Phase 2 (voluntary workouts). The player – who was not named – has since tested negative twice and remains asymptomatic. Here’s the official statement from the Bruins:
Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan requires all players to be tested for COVID-19 prior to using the team’s facilities. As part of this process, the Bruins were advised that a player tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The player underwent two subsequent tests, and both returned negative. The player remains asymptomatic. The Bruins will continue to follow CDC recommendations and adhere to the NHL’s protocol.
All Bruins players who have returned to this point during Phase 2 have now returned negative test results.
The Bruins, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, are providing these details in an effort to be transparent and will provide no further information at this time.
This is the first confirmed case of Coronavirus for a Bruins player. In a Zoom conference call with the media, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney confirmed that the player that tested positive has not yet been to the team’s practice facility, Warrior Arena in Brighton. Sweeney also explained that regular but not daily testing is required for every player during Phase 2. Once Phase 3 or training camp begins, the testing will be done daily. The Bruins GM also confirmed that the subsequent tests after a requirement and thankfully with this Bruins player, they were negative. As Sweeney acknowledged everyone is still in the learning process as far as dealing with COVID19 goes.
“I think everybody’s learning, with how we properly interact and distance and react to the original test results we’re seeing,” said Sweeney. “We’ll be testing daily when we get to the later stages. … This phase is a voluntary phase, but I think we’re learning and we’ll continue to learn throughout this as the players go through it and really everybody interacts.”
Phase 2 of the NHL Return To Play plan began this past Monday. On Wednesday, Bruins star forwards Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron became the first confirmed Bruins players to hit the ice at Warrior Arena. Sources have told Boston Hockey Now that there have been others but brother the players nor the team have made that list of players public to this point.
On Thursday the NHL confirmed that Phase 3 or Training Camp would begin July 10. To this point, it is not known when and where Phase 4 and the 24-team Stanley Cup playoffs format will take place. Whenever the tournament does begin, the Bruins will play one game each in a four-game round-robin against the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning.