TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay’s professional hockey team has been hit with a coronavirus outbreak.
The Tampa Bay Lightning confirmed Friday evening three players and “additional staff members” tested positive for COVID-19.
“Those players have been self-isolated following CDC protocols and are asymptomatic other than a few cases of low-grade fever,” a statement from General Manager Julien BriseBois said. “Those who have been in contact with these individuals have been notified.”
BriseBois says training facilities were immediately shut down when the organization received the positive tests on Thursday.
The NHL is currently in Phase 2 of its return to play. Teams were recently allowed to open facilities to player workouts with small groups on the ice. The Lightning recently progressed from mainly conditioning to scrimmages. The next phase, set to begin July 10, will allow formal training camps to begin.
The Lightning organization is not the only one that has been hit by coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area. The Philadelphia Phillies confirmed an outbreak at their Clearwater facility on Friday. The team says five players and three staff members tested positive.
Shortly after news broke about the Lightning, ESPN’s MLB Insider Jeff Passan reported that the Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training facility in Dunedin was shut down. Passan says a player exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.
WFLA has also confirmed an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tested positive for the virus. That coach and two other assistants are in quarantine.
Earlier this week, the University of South Florida confirmed two football players tested positive one week after voluntary on-campus athletic activities started.
NBA teams are set to arrive in Central Florida in the coming weeks to resume their season.
The number of coronavirus cases in Florida has spiked recently. A record 3,822 new cases were reported on Friday.
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