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Islanders: NHL introduces new COVID measure effective immediately

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Do to updated COVID-19 protocols, the glass has been removed from behind the team benches as workers take measurements for additional safety methods prior to the game between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 04, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Do to updated COVID-19 protocols, the glass has been removed from behind the team benches as workers take measurements for additional safety methods prior to the game between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 04, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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As of February 4, there are 41 players list on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. The majority of the players listed are from the New Jersey Devils (17 players) and the Minnesota Wild (seven players). None are from the New York Islanders.

But still, the impacts are being felt on the Island. Two games against the Buffalo Sabres were postponed this week after the Devils and Sabres played on Sunday.

Containing the virus outside of the bubble was going to be next to impossible for the NHL even before this new more contagious B-117 strain. So now that we’re seeing more and more teams having to deal with the virus, the NHL has decided to make some adjustments.

New York Islanders will have to adhere to new COVID measures introduced by NHL

On Thursday afternoon the NHL released its set of new COVID-19 preventative measures that teams and players now had to adhere to.

  • Removing glass behind the bench
    • The next time you tune in you’ll notice the glass behind both benches is gone. The idea is to allow for greater airflow while players are in close proximity to each other for an extended period of time on the bench. Think of how long Ross Johnston and Matt Martin are on the bench over the course of a game.
  • Limiting time at the arena
    • Players and coaches can’t be at the arena any earlier than an hour and 45 minutes before a game. Meetings also have to be held virtually when possible. Again the idea here is to limit the number of times players are around each other.
  • Six feet between locker room stalls
    • Teams have to make enough room for players to have at least 6 feet of space between stalls in both home and away locker rooms.
    • This is going to be tough. Arena’s just weren’t designed to accommodate six feet between stalls. But according to the memo, if they have to build new spaces to accommodate this the league will
  • Portable air cleaners*
    • This is only a consideration. Teams aren’t bound to this just yet.

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Will this work? Who knows. Will it perhaps stop any spread of the virus? It could very well help and hopefully, it does.

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