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NHL Closes Dressing Rooms to Media as Precaution Due to Coronavirus

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2020

The team logo is in the center of the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room before players come in to talk to the media before leaving for the off season two days after being swept by the New York Islanders in the first round of the NHL hockey playoffs, Thursday, April 18, 2019, at their practice facility in Cranberry Township, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The NHL will prevent media from entering teams' locker rooms starting Saturday as a precaution because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported the decision comes on recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All interviews will take place in designated press conference areas.

The league features 31 teams: 24 in the United States and seven in Canada.

Christina Maxouris of CNN reported Saturday the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. now stands at over 370 with at least 19 deaths because of the disease, most of them in Washington state.

The NHL doesn't have a franchise located in Washington, though an expansion team in Seattle is scheduled to debut in 2021.

Although the CDC hasn't recommended the cancellation of large gatherings such as hockey games, it released a series of common-sense guidelines amid the outbreak, such as avoiding contact with sick individuals, staying home if you're sick and washing your hands frequently.

The NHL has 17 games on its weekend slate, which kicked off Saturday afternoon with contests being hosted in New York City and Pittsburgh.

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