The KHL is full steam ahead and set to begin their 2020-21 season this Wednesday. KHL president Alexei Morozov met with media Monday morning where he provided an update on the official number for total cases of COVID-19.
The official figure: 131 players have tested positive for COVID-19, with 57 of those cases already fully recovered.
“Of these, 57 have already recovered and started training. I would like to note that everyone had a mild case of the disease, they were all under the constant supervision of club doctors. The health of those concerned was also monitored by the KHL medical service, “said KHL President Alexei Morozov.
“Everyone is well aware of the problems facing the league and our teams. The pandemic and related restrictions were a real test of our strength. Some teams had to quarantine several players and almost every club had to change their pre-season plans, “added Morozov.
This was especially true of Avangard Omsk, where, according to the club’s CEO Alexei Volkov, on July 21, twenty people from the team underwent a positive test for the presence of coronavirus. Although there are theories according to which the cadre of the Siberian team is sufficiently immersed and more resistant to possible further infection, they are not comforted in Omsk by the certainty that they are worried.
“It has not been proven how long the anti-coronavirus antibodies last, whether it is possible to get the disease a second time. I understand that even such cases occur. Now no one can say anything for sure. In any case, at this stage, almost all of us should have antibodies in our bodies. We hope that there will be no second wave, that the antibodies will fight the virus effectively, “believes Volkov.
As far as fans attending KHL games, the current status is a little less clear, and varies by each team’s location.
“Our position hasn’t changed. Hockey is a spectator sport and we need to let the fans into the arenas. We have to follow the recommendations of the various regional authorities and also see how many fans can be allowed into the arenas while complying with all the necessary safety measures. This is a priority for all our clubs and they themselves are looking for the best solution. According to the information we have on August 30, games will have to take place without spectators in Kazakhstan, Cherepovets and Novosibirsk. In other places, the capacity varies. We don’t have — and cannot have — a universal formula. In the last few days several clubs have already explained how they will operate, how many season tickets have been sold or remain to be sold and how many tickets will be available to purchase.”
Capitals forward prospect Aliaksei Protas is the only Current member of the Capitals organization getting set to start the KHL season. He and Dinamo Minsk will host Jokerit on Thursday, September 3.
By Jon Sorensen