Lightning close training facility as players, staff test positive for COVID-19

Bolts general manager Julien BriseBois said in a statement Friday that the players have self-isolated and are asymptomatic "other than a few cases of low-grade fever."

Outbreak comes on day Florida records single-day high of reported cases at 3,822

Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, seen above. The organization reportedly closed team facilities Friday after multiple members of the team and staff tested positive for COVID-19. (Chris Carlson/The Associated Press)

The Tampa Bay Lightning closed their facilities Thursday after three players and additional staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The closure comes some two weeks after players were allowed to return to their respective facilities to take part in voluntary on- and off-ice workouts. Players were allowed to skate in groups of up to six at a time.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said in a statement that the players have self-isolated and are asymptomatic "other than a few cases of low-grade fever."

BriseBois said the facility will remain shut down until the team can ensure a safe environment for reopening.

WATCH | Positive tests could put NHL return in jeopardy:

Positive COVID-19 tests threaten to derail pro sports' return


10 months ago
As professional sports leagues plot their return to action, CBC News' Cameron MacIntosh details the recent spike in the number of athletes who have contracted COVID-19. 2:43

"The Lightning are steadfast in doing all that we can to ensure the health and safety of our players, staff, fans and the community," BriseBois said. "With a significant rise in cases in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and the State of Florida we are imploring everyone in the Bay Area, especially young people, to help slow the spread of this pandemic by diligently following the recommendations of government officials by wearing a mask, practising social distancing and continuing to wash their hands regularly.

"We need to work together as a community to slow the spread."

The Lightning's release came on the same day that Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies announced that five players have tested positive for COVID-19 at the team's spring camp in Florida, prompting the club to indefinitely close the complex.

WATCH | Canada's Deputy PM confirms approval of NHL hub plan: 

Federal government approves NHL hub city plan to play in Canada


10 months ago
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday confirmed the federal government has approved the NHL's plan to return to play in Canada. 6:47

Florida is experiencing a statewide spike in coronavirus numbers. The Florida Department of Health confirmed an additional 3,822 cases on Friday — the highest number of reported cases in the state in a single day.

The move to open facilities was the next step in the NHL's bid to resume its season with a proposed 24-team expanded playoff format, with games being played in two hub cities.

The NHL projects teams to open training camps on July 10.

With files from Field Level Media

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?