According to the Associated Press on Wednesday, the National Hockey League players will not be expected to wear full face shields when games return this season for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff qualifying round, and then the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs thereafter. The decision could be considered a little controversial when many people in the science community are encouraging proper social distancing and trying to prevent the possibility that the deadly virus of coronavirus be spread through spit.
“There is clearly coronavirus in saliva,” states Dr. Michael Benninger of the Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Clinic in Cleveland. Meanwhile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease can be spread by touching a viral droplet, or if the particles reach the nose, mouth and eye area.
Yes, players will be tested for coronavirus often on a regular basis. However, they will still be in cities where coronavirus is a genuine problem. According to multiple reports, the NHL will have a hub city in Las Vegas. At this time, there are 11,842 cases of coronavirus in the state of Nevada, and 473 deaths.
It should also be noted that caged masks have been worn by women’s hockey players for decades. At this time, the NHL should follow the women’s game’s lead, and enforce similar measures.
Enforcing face masks will obviously not be permanent. However, these are unprecedented times, where public safety in the workplace environment is paramount. The NHL are going to extreme efforts to do testing off the ice. So, why are not they taking the strongest measures possible when players are to play on the ice?
There is also a possibility we could see coaches wear face shields on the bench. These measures will not only help prevent the spread of coronavius, but will help coaches from being hit by flying pucks coming on to the bench.