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NHL pauses season on concerns about coronavirus

Decision comes day after NBA player tests positive for virus

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 12.03.2020
NHL pauses season on concerns about coronavirus FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON

The National Hockey League (NHL) announced Thursday it is pausing the remainder of the 2019-2020 season because of the global spread of the new coronavirus.

The suspension will begin immediately, and will include games to be played Thursday. 

The NHL is the second major American sports league to take the action after the NBA did so Wednesday after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the virus known as COVID-19. 

"Following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus -- and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point -- it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this point," the league said in a statement.

"Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup," it said, referring to the league's championship trophy. 

The Jazz identified the player who tested positive as center Rudy Gobert. A teammate also tested positive, the Jazz confirmed in a statement. 

The coronavirus was first detected last December in Wuhan, China but has since spread to more than 105 countries.

The global death toll from the virus is now more than 4,600 with an excess of 125,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization.


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