On Tuesday evening, a new statement from the Ottawa Senators confirmed that the first case of COVID-19 in the NHL has been diagnosed. Just days after the 2019-2020 season was postponed, a player from the Ottawa-based team has tested positive for the virus. He is currently in isolation and has mild symptoms.

In a statement to the public on March 17, the Ottawa Senators confirmed that a player on their team has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The notice explained, “The Ottawa Senators are in the process of notifying anyone who has had known close contact with the athlete and are working with our team doctors and public health officials.”

“As a result of this positive case, all members of the Ottawa Senators are requested to remain isolated, to monitor their health and seek advice from our team medical staff.”

This comes just five days after the NHL officially decided to suspend the current season, citing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Despite postponing all upcoming games, none of the league’s players had previously tested positive for COVID-19. The Sens player is believed to be the first in the NHL.

The athlete has not been named by the team but is confirmed to be in isolation with mild symptoms.

The team was in the middle of a 10-game road trip when the NHL announced the season’s suspension. 

They most recently faced the Anaheim Ducks in California, as well as the LA Kings.

On Monday, NHL athletes who were directed to remain in quarantine in their team cities were being allowed to go home to self-quarantine.

Concluding their statement on Tuesday, the Sens team added, “The health of our players, fans, and community remains our highest priority.”

“We will continue to do everything we can to help ensure our players, staff, fans and the greater community remain safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty due to the spread of the coronavirus.”

The hockey league’s decision to suspend the season came just one day after the same move was made by the NBA.

According to Sportsnet, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains hopeful that the season will be able to finish as normal, simply at a later date.

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