NHL finds zero positive COVID-19 cases in latest round of testing as teams enter bubbles

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 26: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals arrives at Hotel X prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on July 26, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 26: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals arrives at Hotel X prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on July 26, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Give it up for the National Hockey League.

The NHL announced Monday that all 24 teams successfully entered the secure zones in Toronto and Edmonton this past weekend after the culminating round of testing in Phase 3 of the return-to-play process yielded zero positive tests for the COVID-19 virus.

More than 800 players were tested and over 4,000 examinations were administered in the final week of Phase 3 training. All told, there were two positive tests overall in the two-week training camp process after nearly 7,000 administered tests.

Players and all members of each team’s travelling party will continue to receive daily testing to ensure that the bubble remains safe from infection, and the league will continue to provide weekly updates.

Set to begin the exhibition slate Tuesday before the qualification round kicks off this weekend, the NHL is on the verge of safely resuming its season amid the coronavirus pandemic. And that is nothing short of a massive achievement for the league and its players given the uncertain situations other major professional sports find themselves in.

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