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Islanders taking extra steps to keep staff safe from COVID

KOLKATA, INDIA - 2020/03/25: In this photo illustration a National Hockey League (NHL) logo seen displayed on a smartphone with a computer model of the COVID-19 coronavirus the background. (Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
KOLKATA, INDIA - 2020/03/25: In this photo illustration a National Hockey League (NHL) logo seen displayed on a smartphone with a computer model of the COVID-19 coronavirus the background. (Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Lou Lamoriello addressed the media on Tuesday to talk about a few things concerning his New York Islanders team. He talked about why he brought in Chara and Parise. He also confirmed the Erik Gustafsson PTO and that Cory Schneider and Michael Dal Colle were coming back.

None of that was news per see. We knew that all of these players had signed. We knew why he brought in Chara and Parise. But Lou did add something we weren’t yet aware of, the team’s vaccination rate and the measures they’ll take, of their own accord, to keep people safe.

New York Islanders take extra step to keep staff safe from COVID

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daily had previously indicated that he expected 98% of the league would be vaccinated. So it was safe to assume that the Isles would be up close to that vaccination rate. On Tuesday, Lamoriello stated that the team was 100% vaccinated:

"“Everyone in our organization, that is staff, coaches, and players, are vaccinated,” Lamoriello said on a pre-training camp teleconference on Tuesday. “We will not allow any player in our organization to participate unless they’re vaccinated.”"

That’s already a great step. A fully vaccinated team is a great step towards keeping everyone (from players to coaches to staff) safe. But the New York Islanders are going to take it one step further than that. Lou indicated that all players will be tested daily, even if the league doesn’t require teams to take that step.

I know that might sound like an unnecessary step, but, why not? What does the team have to lose by doing this? There’s no good reason not to. Players will already be subject to tests every 72 hours. Stepping it up to doing them daily will be, at worst, a minor inconvenience, but it could be a huge help to identify an infection before it spreads. And that could be a huge win. The reward here is far greater than the “risk”. It’s a good step from the Isles.

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