OHL restricts fan access to players over COVID-19 concerns

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In an effort to protect the players and the fans, the Ontario Hockey League is taking steps to try to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As a result, the OHL has advised all teams and officials to avoid direct contact with fans, which includes high-fives, handshakes, and autographing of items.  The hockey league has also asked that dressing rooms and member team facilities be restricted to players, coaches and support staff.  As well, players are being asked to avoid sharing water bottles and towels, and handshakes between teammates or opponents are to be avoided.

“The Ontario Hockey League is committed to the health and safety of our players, on and off-ice officials, fans, staff and general public. As part of this commitment, we continue to closely monitor the latest health information, including data and recommended measures provided by public health agencies regarding COVID-19 [Coronavirus],” the OHL said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “Since the start of the outbreak, we have been in regular communication with OHL Member Teams, the National Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League and Hockey Canada,”

General managers along with medical and training staff from all 20 OHL teams are being advised to maintain good hygiene practices, including regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water, or cleansing with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

As of Tuesday, 2,599 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Ontario and there are 36 confirmed cases. Of those, five are resolved.