Like a football locker room, a hockey locker room is a nasty, disgusting Petri dish of odors and germs. And so, like football undoubtedly will do, hockey will be aggressive about testing players if/when the 2019-20 season resumes.
“We will have a rigorous daily testing protocol where players are tested every evening and those results are obtained before they would leave their hotel rooms the next morning, so we’ll know if we have a positive test and whether the player has to self-quarantine himself as a result of that positive test,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday, via ESPN.com. “It’s expensive, but we think it’s really a foundational element of what we’re trying to accomplish.”
It definitely is. If only one player enters a locker room or a rink with an undetected positive case of coronavirus, many others may end up catching it. And so testing will have to be aggressive.
“You need testing at a level sufficient to be confident that you’re going to be on top of anything which might happen,” NHL Players Association executive director Don Fehr said, per ESPN.com. “If that turns out to be daily, and that’s available, that’s OK. That would be good. If it turns out that that’s not quite what we need and we can get by with a little less, that’s OK.”
It will need to be daily. Or, at a minimum, every day that players show up to practice or play. Before being admitted to a facility they need to test negative. Ideally, they also should test negative again before being set loose on the community.
The same thing applies to the NFL: Negative before entering, negative before exiting. Every day the player show up for work. It’s that simple, it’s that clear. Anything else will require an element of good luck, and nothing related to this situation should be left to chance.