There is nothing in sports that shows the respect that opponents have for each other quite like when hockey teams line up to shake each others hands.
However, in the COVID-19 era, handshakes between opponents is, for the time being, something the Western Hockey League isn’t recommending.
The league released a statement that, in an effort to minimize contact, handshakes between opponents, officials and teammates are recommended against. Also, there is to be no sharing of water bottles, or towels on benches or penalty box areas. Direct contact with fans - that includes high fives, handshakes or signing autographs – are also on the list of not recommended practices.
Medical and training staffs for all clubs in the league have been provided with information about COVID-19 from local health authorities about its transmission and the common symptoms associated with the virus.
“The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the immediate health risk in the United States is low for general public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time. COVID-19 is transmitted between people in close contact with one another (within approximately six feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. COVID-19 is also transmitted from contact with infected surfaces or objects," the release said.