The NHL and NHL Players Association announced on Wednesday that they have modified their COVID-19 protocols to reduce the isolation period for fully vaccinated players who test positive.
The isolation period has been cut in half from 10 days to five days, with the league citing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Players need to be asymptomatic and produce a negative test before returning to their team.
Along with fully vaccinated players, the modified protocols also apply to fully vaccinated hockey operations staff, which includes coaches.
The NHL noted that all personnel are still required to follow local health and safety guidelines, including stricter mandates in Canada. British Columbia, which is where the Vancouver Canucks play, has a seven-day isolation period, while all other Canadian provinces have 10-day isolation periods.
In all, the NHL has postponed 80 games this season due to COVID-19 outbreaks within organizations. The league paused the season from Dec. 22-26 as postponements continued to rise across the league. Nine more games were postponed on Tuesday and all were in Canadian markets.
The NHL and NHLPA announced on Dec. 22 that their players would not be going to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.