A source told St. Louis Today that four players and one coach for the St. Louis Blues tested positive for COVID-19, which is why the team closed their practice facility for the July Fourth holiday weekend on Friday. The team is slated to re-open Centene Community Ice Center on Monday, a week before the NHL is allowing teams to open mini-training camps.
The cases might have popped up because several team members gathered at a bar in Clayton, Missouri. Members of the general public were also there, the source said. A player tested positive for the virus just a few days after the gathering. Another player and coach tested positive after, followed by two more players. Many states have shut bars down again after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.
It is unknown if the players or coach that tested positive were symptomatic or not. The Blues have deferred all COVID-19 related questions to the NHL, which has avoided discussing specifics of the Blues’ current situation.
It is possible that at least some of those four players and the coach will not be available for the opening of training camp on July 13, which was pushed back by three days earlier this week.
The CDC said in their guidelines that players who test positive for the virus and are asymptomatic must self-quarantine for at least 10 days.
As of Monday, 15 players of 250 tested contracted the virus since phase two opened on June 8.
The NHL is finalizing the phases three and four protocols in addition to a CBA extension with the NHLPA before training camps open. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs are reportedly set to start on Saturday, August 1 in Edmonton and Toronto.
By Harrison Brown