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NHL urges players to limit fan contact because of virus

TORONTO — The NHL has sent a memo to teams urging players to limit contact with fans because of the coronavirus outbreak.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the league issued the memo in an email to The Canadian Press on Friday.

The move follows a similar directive this month by the NBA, which has told its players to stop high-fiving fans and strangers, and avoid taking items for autographs.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday at the close of the annual general managers meetings in Florida that he’s ordered a halt to all business-related travel outside North America for league employees.

And if an individual ends up in a location affected by the virus on their own, the NHL is mandating a two-week quarantine before that person can return to work.

The Ottawa Senators’ road game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night remains on schedule despite a recommendation to cancel large gatherings in the county where the arena is located.

The Sharks encouraged fans to follow another suggestion from the Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department, which recommends that “persons at higher risk avoid mass gatherings such as parades, sporting events, and concerts where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.”

The Sharks announced Friday that all events at SAP Center this weekend will go on as scheduled.

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