Fears of COVID running rampant through the Washington Capitals locker room should be somewhat quelled now, as the team announced all players and coaches are 100% vaccinated as of Saturday.
Washington made a point to shout out MedStar Health, the sponsor of the team’s practice facility in Arlington.
The NHL has taken serious measures to ensure the safety of players and staff, as the 2021-22 preseason begins next week. Last week, the league announced that at least 98% of players will be vaccinated prior to the start of the regular season in October. Only about a dozen players would be unvaccinated by that time, according to those numbers.
The NHL set forth its new vaccine policy earlier this month. While players are not technically required to get vaccinated, steep penalties would be imposed to those who chose not to get the shot, including travel restrictions, withholding of pay for time missed, and suspensions for unvaccinated players at the teams’ discretion.
Now that almost every player in the league has been fully vaccinated, the NHL is allowing 30 of the league’s 32 stadiums—save Montreal’s Bell Centre (33%) and Vancouver’s Rogers Arena (50%)—to operate at 100% capacity for fans. Most stadiums, including Capital One Arena in Washington, will still require fans to wear masks at all times while indoors.