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Source: Lightning reopen facility after 5 days

The Tampa Bay Lightning reopened their training facility Wednesday, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The news comes five days after the team announced that three players and additional staffers tested positive for coronavirus.

General manager Julien BriseBois said last week that the players who tested positive were self-isolating and “are asymptomatic other than a few cases of low-grade fever.”

“With a significant rise in cases in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and the State of Florida we are imploring everyone in the Bay Area, especially young people, to help slow the spread of this pandemic by diligently following the recommendations of the government officials by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and continuing to wash their hands regularly,” BriseBois said in a statement. “We need to work together as a community to slow the spread.”

The NHL is currently in Phase 2 of its return-to-play program, which allows for small, voluntary group workouts. Initially, only six players were allowed on the ice at a time, with only noncontact drills allowed. However, the NHL expanded the rules this week to allow 12 players for on-ice sessions.

A decent number of Lightning players stayed in the Tampa Bay area during the NHL’s pause. A source said that 18 players have been working out at Amalie Arena since the NHL opened its Phase 2 program on June 8.

The Lightning announced their positive tests on Friday, the same day Florida reported 3,822 new cases of the coronavirus, a one-day record.

MLB also temporarily shut down its spring training sites in Florida. Five players on the Phillies, who were training in Clearwater — just 23 miles from Tampa — also tested positive last week.

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