Since the NHL began Phase 2 of its return-to-play plan on June 8, a total of 23 players have tested positive for COVID-19, the league revealed in a statement on Monday. The league is aware of 12 additional players that tested positive for the coronavirus outside of the Phase 2 protocol. In total, 35 players have had positive COID-19 tests in the past month.
"All players who have tested positive have been self-isolated and are following CDC and Health Canada protocols," the statement said. "The NHL will continue to provide regular updates on the number of tests administered to players and the results of those tests. The league will not be providing information on the identity of the players or clubs."
In total, the NHL so far has conducted 2,900 tests for the coronavirus on players during Phase 2. Team facilities reopened earlier this month for voluntary workouts and off-ice workouts in small groups under strict guidelines from the league.
According to an Associated Press report last month, the NHL isn't planning on placing teams in quarantined "bubbles" when training camps open on July 10. The league is informing players that they should stay home when they're not practicing and that outbreaks can be prevented with frequent testing.
The start of training camps will represent Phase 3 of the league's return-to-play plan and that's scheduled to begin around July 13. It's expected that the success of Phase 3 will determine when the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin.
Last month, the league announced a return-to-play scenario that includes a 24-team playoff format in order to crown a Stanley Cup champion. Players, coaches, and staff members will be quarantined while the playoffs are going on. Once games begin during the play-in tournament, players are going to tested on a daily basis.
The NHL has yet to officially announce what the two hub cities will be, but reports have suggested that they will be Edmonton and Toronto.