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Ontario Hockey League joins major sports leagues in restricting locker room access

The OHL has announced further delays to the start of the upcoming season. Jim Van Horne/980 CFPL

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is following the lead of a number of major sports leagues in North America that have restricted access to dressing rooms in light of the spread of COVID-19.

In a release on Tuesday, the OHL said it would limit “access to dressing rooms and member team facilities … to players, coaches and support staff only.”

Moving forward, media access will also be held “in designated areas outside dressing rooms,” the league added.

The OHL joins the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Basketball Association, all of which announced similar measures on Monday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Major sports leagues including NBA, NHL restrict locker room access

In addition, the league advised players, billets and staff to take further preventive measures against the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, by eliminating handshakes between teammates, opponents and officials; forbidding the sharing of water bottles or towels on benches or in penalty box areas; and eliminating contact with fans, including high fives, handshakes and autographing of items.

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“OHL general managers, as well as medical and training staff from all 20 OHL member teams, have also been provided with frequent updates on preventative measures to be taken in team areas such as dressing rooms and team buses as well as hygienic best practices to be enacted throughout their facilities,” the league said in its statement.

The league did not reveal whether the measures will be temporary.

As of Wednesday, federal public health officials confirmed 93 cases of COVID-19 in Canada. More than 113,000 people worldwide have tested positive for the disease.

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