Recently the US's Center for Disease Control reduced its recommendation for the period people should remain in isolation. The CDC now recommends a five-day quarantine over a ten-day period. On Wednesday, the NHL adopted this new recommendation. Obviously, that impacts the New York Islanders, but how?
With seven players currently on the NHL's COVID protocol list, the Isles have a big chunk of their team that remains unavailable to play. Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, Oliver Wahlstrom, Cal Clutterbuck, Zach Parise, Matt Martin and Robin Salo are out due to COVID.
Getting any of the back sooner would be a big boost for the Isles. So what do you need to know about the new rule from the NHL?
New York Islanders and NHL's new COVID isolation rules
Most of this information comes from Elliotte Friedman as the NHL hasn't yet made this official. But the main takeaway of course is that players can exit isolation five days sooner. But there are obviously some stipulations to that:
Players need to be vaccinated:
-This shorter isolation does not apply to the unvaccinated. For the Islanders that isn't an issue, all of them are vaccinated. At least twice. There is no word how many have received their booster shot yet.
Local Health Authority:
-The governing local health authority must also have the same rules. The CDC's new recommendation applies to New York. So this is still good.
Negative test/Physician clearance:
-To leave isolation early a negative test must be produced by the player and the club's physician must provide clearance.
If you've read the CDC's new recommendation, they state that when leaving isolation after five days a person must remain masked for another five days. If you're asking: "how is the NHL going to mandate that? Apparently, they must wear a mask everywhere but during the game or at practice. Which seems a bit odd.
So, with these new guidelines, we might see some players exit isolation a bit earlier. We already know that Martin and Salo should be exiting their isolation on Wednesday. The group of Beauvillier, Clutterbuck, Parise, and Wahlstrom entered on Dec 26 so the soonest they can leave is Dec 31st. Brock Nelson won't be able to leave until Jan 2 at the earliest.
So, only Salo and Martin will be out for the Buffalo game on the 30th, while the rest, might be ready for the game against the Oilers on Jan 1 at 2:00 PM at the UBS Arena.