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Coronavirus

Blue Jackets Shut Down, 9 NHL Teams Paused Due To COVID

 Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner takes a shot on goal during an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Seattle.
Stephen Brashear
/
AP
Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner takes a shot on goal during an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Seattle.

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Monday that all club activities will be paused at least through December 26, including the postponement of two games against the Buffalo Sabres scheduled for tonight and Thursday.

A statement released by the Blue Jackets reads, "This action is the result of positive cases within the team over the past two days and concern for continued COVID spread."

Columbus' game for this past Saturday at Calgary was canceled due to COVID-19 cases within the Flames' organization.

More than a quarter of NHL teams have been shut down through at least the weekend because of the pandemic. The Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens became the eighth and ninth teams to have activities paused because of several positive COVID-19 test results among players.

A total of 43 games have been postponed this season for coronavirus-related reasons after the Devils-Penguins game that had been scheduled for Tuesday joined the list. Roughly 10% of the league's players are in virus protocol.

The spread of delta and omicron variants across North America has led the NHL to postpone all cross-border games through the Christmas break and made Olympic participation unlikely.

The Blue Jackets said a decision on when the team's training facilities will re-open will be made by the League and the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players' Association) in the coming days.