Islander Josh Bailey added NHL Covid list: What does that mean?

Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey was added to the NHL’s COVID protocol list. He was the only Islanders player to make the list. The veteran forward was not on the ice at practice on Wednesday. At the time the team simply stated that he was “not available” for practice.

Given a consistent spot on the Islanders second line next to Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson, Josh hasn’t scored a point so far but he’s been a good linemate so far in this young season. So now that he’s on the COVID protocol list, what does that mean for Bailey and when can he return to the Islanders?

Before I continue I hope Bailey isn’t sick, nor is any of his family members are sick, and hopefully this is just Bailey and the team being extra cautious.

Josh Bailey makes NHL COVID Protocol List, now what?

First and foremost, this does not mean that Josh Bailey absolutely has COVID. According to the NHL, a player can make this list for a few reasons:

  1. an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol
  2. mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol
  3. required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol
  4. isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or
  5. quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol

So again, he might not have COVID but he may be showing symptoms.

Now, when can Josh come off the COVID protocol? Of course, that depends if he tested positive or not. If so there’s a bunch more testing that needs to happen. They’ll essentially need to pass three tests each 24 hours apart. If all three come back negative he can exit isolation. But if any come back positive he’ll be considered as confirmed positive and have to follow the NHL’s Positive Test Protocol:

  • Asymptomatic during the entire period:
    • Upon the passage of 10 days since the first positive test, provided the individual has remained asymptomatic during the entire period of their self-isolation;
  • Symptomatic at the time of the test or during isolation:
    • If at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, etc.) have improved; or
    • The individual has tested negative twice on the basis of the CDC Test-Based Strategy after the resolution of any fever (without use of fever-reducing medications) and has experienced improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);
  • For both cases:
    • In addition, the Club Physician, its infectious disease expert, and any other treatingphysician providing care to the individual, must conclude that the individual no longerpresents a risk of infection to others, and that it is medically appropriate (given individual and local circumstances) to terminate the requirement for self-isolation.

So if Bailey tested positive the earliest he could exit isolation (assuming he clears the confirmatory test and two more tests) is 72 hours after the initial positive test. Assuming that the positive test was earlier today that means the earliest he could return is Saturday.