Rise in COVID-19 cases hammers North American sport



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Dec 7 2021; Los Angeles, California, United States; A free COVID-19 test site is set up ahead of the Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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December 30 (Reuters) – The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League were both forced to postpone games on Thursday, as the COVID-19 outbreak continued to wreak havoc on sports programming.

The Golden State Warriors’ contest in Denver on Thursday was postponed after the Nuggets, who were hit by a COVID-19 outbreak in the locker room, were unable to field the required minimum of eight players, the NBA said.

A total of 11 NBA games have been postponed since December 14.

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Also on Thursday, the NHL said that due to COVID-19 issues affecting the Dallas Stars, the team’s Jan. 2 game against the Arizona Coyotes was postponed.

The NHL has postponed more than 80 games this month amid the avalanche of COVID-19 cases.

The postponements follow the International Ice Hockey Federation’s decision to put an end to the junior world championships in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., After players from multiple teams tested positive for the virus.

In an effort to avoid a similar shutdown, Skate Canada announced that the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships Jan. 6-13, which will determine places on the Beijing Olympic team, will be held in Ottawa without spectators.

“We understand this is disappointing for our supporters and stakeholders,” Skate Canada President Karen Butcher and CEO Debra Armstrong said in a joint statement Thursday.

“However, our priority is to preserve the competitions necessary for the selection of teams for the Olympic Winter Games and the ISU Championships.”

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Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, additional reporting by Rory Carroll in San Francisco; edited by Pritha Sarkar

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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