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Smith: Senators who had COVID-19 have fully recovered

Andy Marlin / National Hockey League / Getty

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Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith confirmed Wednesday that the six members of the club - five players and one staff member - who fell ill to the coronavirus have fully recovered.

"I'm really glad that everybody in our organization and on that plane is now doing well, but it's certainly a scary time," Smith said, according to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch.

Smith said seeing the virus firsthand allowed the organization to appreciate its severity and act accordingly.

"Yeah, it hit us, but at the same time, it probably saved a lot of us because unless you see it up close that quickly, we probably got a little bit of a jump on this," he explained.

Smith also admitted that when his team was in San Jose ahead of its March 7 contest against the Sharks, the city felt different after Santa Clara health authorities recommended the game be played without spectators. The Sharks did not follow that warning and went along with the game as planned.

"In San Jose, it was kind of weird, we got onto Santana Row and there wasn't really a lot of people out," Smith said. "Guys usually like to try and go for a walk and dinner - at that point, no one knew what we know now. Guys were aware, but I don't think there's any way of telling that it would have gotten to this level, certainly for us, anyway."

The NHL season was officially suspended March 12. Since then, eight players in total - five Senators and three from the Colorado Avalanche - have tested positive for COVID-19.

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