New York Islanders team celebrates a win in March. On Saturday the National Hockey League said the team would postpone games because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 27 (UPI) -- An outbreak of COVID-19 on the New York Islanders has caused the hockey team to postpone its games through at least Tuesday, the National Hockey League announced Saturday.
As many as eight of the teams' members will be unavailable to play because of protocols meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the league said. The decision was made as an additional member of the team entered protocol, which the league said could increase.
"The Islanders organization has followed, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its Players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state and national agencies," the league said in the statement.
The New York Islanders were scheduled to play the New York Rangers on Sunday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
The decision to postpone the games was made in consultation with the union representing players and the club's medical groups.
The team's postponement comes among heightened concerns over the new, more-infectious Omicron variant of the virus that's already disrupted golf, cricket and rugby events in South Africa, reports Fox News.
The United States saw a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases last month following a wave of infections driven by the Delta variant of the virus, according to the New York Times.
More recently, the United States has been averaging about 95,000 new cases daily, a 25% increase over two weeks that was caused by increased infections in the upper Midwest and Northeast.
Earlier this month, the Ottawa Senators hockey team postponed three games after players entered COVID-19 protocol.