With the threat of omicron rising in America, (due to its contagiousness and not its severity, thank goodness), there are fears of year another dismal and abysmal winter ahead.
This time of year has proven tough for the pandemic, on account of the fact that so many Americans are gathering indoors, sharing air in close quarters. Sprinkle in the speedy spread of this latest variant, and you have a recipe for trouble.
The concerns were too much for the NHL, who this week announced that they’d put a brief pause on the 2021 season.
The NHL took to Twitter late Monday to announce a brief pause to its season, two games before a scheduled Christmas break due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The post said that team facilities will be closed through Christmas, and players will report back to their teams on Dec. 26, “which shall be used for testing, practice and/or travel only.”
ESPN reported that 11 teams have suspended operations this week due to coronavirus infections and more than 15% of its players were in virus protocols. The league said no player can enter facilities—unless they are being tested—until they have a negative test result.
The move comes after other major leagues, including both the NBA and NFL, have expressed concerns about their ability to operate with such widespread infections.
The NHL’s pause will be temporary, however, with the league set to resume play on Monday, December 27th.