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Worker at BB&T Center where Florida Panthers play tests positive for coronavirus

The part-time employee’s most recent shift at the arena was March 8. The Tampa Bay Lightning last played there in December.
A pair of hockey fans wear masks as they watch during the second period of an NHL game between the Florida Panthers and the Calgary Flames on March 1, 2020, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
A pair of hockey fans wear masks as they watch during the second period of an NHL game between the Florida Panthers and the Calgary Flames on March 1, 2020, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. [WILFREDO LEE | AP]

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A part-time employee at the BB&T Center, which hosts Florida Panthers home games and concerts, tested positive for COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. The employee’s most recent shift at the arena in Sunrise was March 8, a MercyMe concert.

The announcement came Friday afternoon by the NHL’s Panthers, who said in a release that they were notified of the employee’s positive test by the Florida Department of Health. The employee is self-quarantined and is receiving medical care.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s most recent game at the Panthers was Dec. 10, 2019. Tampa Bay hosted Florida at Amalie Arena on Dec. 23.

The Panthers, according to the release, reached out to all staff who might have come in close contact with the employee during their shift and told those staff members to observe all precautions and report any existing symptoms to the Broward Department of Health.

A Panthers spokesman said the employee did not work the team’s game on March 7 against the Montreal Canadiens but had no additional information. The March 7 game completed a five-game homestand for the Panthers that also had games on Feb. 27, Feb. 29, March 1 and March 5.

“The health and well-being of BB&T Center staff, employees, fans, touring event personnel and our team is of the upmost importance to the organization,” the release said. “We continue to direct our staff to work remotely and observe all recommended precautions.”

As of the 11 a.m. Friday update from the Florida Department of Health, Broward County leads the state with 124 confirmed positive cases.

The Panthers have not played a game since March 12, when the NHL put its season “on pause” due to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.

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