Lightning Forced to Shut Down Team Facility After Players, Staff Test Positive for COVID-19

Jon Cooper
Lightning forced to shut down facility after players and staff tested positive for COVID-19. | Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The state of Florida is experiencing a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases, and that was further evidenced on Friday after eight members of the Philadelphia Phillies organization tested positive for the virus at their Spring Training facility in Clearwater. As it turns out, they're not the only team in the Sunshine State who contracted the virus.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, three players and two staff members for the Tampa Bay Lightning tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the team to shut down their facility until further notice.

For what it's worth, Tampa and Clearwater are less than 30 miles away from one another.

McKenzie says that everyone in the Lightning organization are currently being tested, and if there are no further positive tests, then the facility can re-open.

If not? Who knows.

Tampa Bay isn't the only team to receive positive diagnoses for the coronavirus, of course. The Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche, and Ottawa Senators have all had players contract the virus.

Florida recorded 3,207 new cases of the novel coronavirus on June 18, which is the highest daily increase the state has seen since the pandemic began truly hitting the nation hard in March. The NBA and MLS were slated to resume their seasons in Orlando, but it's unknown if the increase in new cases will put a damper on those plans.

The NHL is still in search of two hub cities for its 24-team playoff format. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the season wouldn't be shut down due to positive tests, but if the numbers increase to insane heights, who knows if the season can resume?