Well, this wasn’t such a fun article to read, from today’s Los Angeles Times. Headline: “Half of NBA and NHL coronavirus cases are linked to Staples Center. What happened?”
In the story, it says that, of the 16 NBA and NHL players who have tested positive for the virus, eight played in games at the Staples Center between March 7-11. The players have been listed as four from the Brooklyn Nets, two from the Ottawa Senators and two from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Guess who else played a game at the Staples Center in those four days? The Colorado Avalanche. I was at that game, representing one of the two Denver sports media outlets on hand (say hi, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post).
It’ll be two weeks tomorrow that game was played, and, wow, has a lot changed since.
So, the question I know you’re asking: Has anyone from the Avalanche tested positive? And my answer is, not that I know of, and yes I have asked.
When I asked the team itself that question on Saturday, I was referred to a top NHL official who, I was told, would be the person who acted as a clearinghouse for all coronavirus-related questions such as this one. The answer I got back was that, yes, if/when a player tests positive for COVID-19, the team would be named publicly. So, as of this writing, the Avalanche have not been named publicly as a team with any positive test-case results.
But has every player on the Avs been tested? I don’t think so, no. No official answer on that question either way, but I don’t believe tests have been made mandatory by the Avs or the NHL for their players.
I can tell you this, personally: Nobody seemed at all sick around the Avs that night at the Staples Center. Of course, the press wasn’t allowed into the room that night because of new NHL mandates. But I was still standing inches and/or feet around many Avs players that night.
I can also tell you this, as someone who was in the Staples Center that night, along with another arena in California (SAP Center in San Jose) the night before, with a flight from San Francisco to LA the next morning: it’s been two weeks and I have no flu symptoms whatsoever. Haven’t had a sniffle in this whole time.
Of course, yes, I have read many of the scary articles about how long the virus can linger in the body while you exhibit no symptoms. What’s weird about reading that LA Times story was how it didn’t mention the Avs-Kings game at all. But there were players who tested positive for the virus before and after that March 9 game.
I hope and trust the NHL is being open about any players testing positive. I will share this though, which I alluded to yesterday: I know someone who is friends with a current NHL player, and that someone I know was told by that player that a player on another team, other than the Ottawa Senators, tested positive just recently, at minimum two days ago.
I have reached out both to that team and the NHL clearinghouse person. The team didn’t respond to me and the clearinghouse person gave me the answer I talked about above.
These are strange days indeed, mama.
Hey, I don’t think it’s a crime if a team doesn’t immediately announce a positive test case. On the other hand, being up front on this thing is no doubt in their best interests morally, and, maybe, legally.
In the meantime, let’s just keep washing those hands, catching up on “TJ Hooker, Season 3” on streaming, and, yeah, feeling a little more nervous all of a sudden.