COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) —The National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association announced Wednesday a modification to their COVID-19 protocol.

The modification will reduce the isolation period after a positive test from 10 days to five days for fully vaccinated players who meet the required conditions. The change also applies to fully vaccinated hockey operations staff, including coaches. The change was made in response to the new isolation guidelines for COVID-positive individuals issued on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Specifics of the changes to the protocol after a positive test include:

  • Isolate for five days;
  • If the individual has a fever, continue to isolate until their fever resolves;
  • If the individual has no symptoms or their symptoms are resolving after five days, they can leave isolation and return to practices and games, provided the following conditions are met:
  • A lab-based PCR test that is negative, or a lab-based PCR test that has a CT value >30, or two negative molecular point of care tests collected >2 hours apart; and,
  • Medical clearance from the individual’s Club physician; and,
  • Such exit is permitted by their local health authority.
  • The individual shall continue to always wear a mask around others for five additional days, other than for practices and games.

The NHL’s and NHLPA’s medical experts will re-evaluate these measures on or before Jan. 12.

While the changes apply on a league-wide basis, all personnel will still have to comply with the applicable health and safety regulations in their jurisdictions, including the Federal and Provincial COVID health and safety mandates in Canada, which may be more restrictive than the Protocol.