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Lightning close facilities after players, staff test positive

Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Tampa Bay Lightning have temporarily shut down training facilities amid Phase 2 of the NHL's return-to-play plan after multiple members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the team announced Friday.

Three unnamed players and additional staff members tested positive. The players have been asymptomatic aside from a few cases of low-grade fever, and have been self-isolating. Everybody that has been in contact with the individuals has been notified.

The team's facilities will remain temporarily shut down until it can be deemed safe for players and staff to return.

Florida is one of multiple COVID-19 hotbeds across the United States. The state reported a single-day record of nearly 4,000 new cases, according to CNN.

While the Lightning are the only team to shut down facilities, new cases have appeared elsewhere around the league over the past week, sources told The Athletic's Joe Smith and Michael Russo.

The NHL initiated Phase 2 on June 8, allowing all 24 teams in the expanded playoff field to open facilities for voluntary workouts with a maximum of six players. The next step of the plan is to open training camps July 10.

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