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Lightning back on the ice for Phase 2 after positive COVID-19 tests

The team reopened its training facilities Wednesday. They had been shut down Friday after players and staff tested positive.

TAMPA — The Lightning returned to the ice Wednesday, reopening their training facilities at Amalie Arena and the TGH Ice Plex for voluntary workouts.

The team shut down its Phase 2 workouts and both facilities on Friday after players and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus as part of the league-mandated biweekly testing. In an internal email shared with the Tampa Bay Times on Friday, the organization said the arena would be closed until July 6.

Related: Multiple Lightning players test positive for the coronavirus

The Lightning has decided to open it back up to players, which it announced through a tweet from Bryan Burns, who writes for the team’s website.

The players who tested positive, and people who came into contact with the players, are currently in quarantine.

After receiving positive tests, the team followed league protocol, shutting things down and implementing more tests. It released a statement from general manager Julien BriseBois that the players were “asymptomatic other than a few cases of low-grade fever.”

The NHL expanded Phase 2 to groups of 12 players as of June 23.

The organization originally opened Phase 2 on June 9, making ice available to groups of six players. More than 12 players had participated in the voluntary workouts, according to videos shared by the team. Players and staffers must have temperature and symptom checks upon entering the arena, and are tested of the virus twice a week.

The NHL, which said 11 of “more than 200″ players have tested positive since Phase 2 began, announced a target date of July 10 for training camps to open. That date, however, was dependent upon the league and players association having an overall agreement on resuming play, which is not yet in place.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

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