The NHL’s coronavirus surge will keep its players out of the Olympics. Here’s what to know.

A surge in coronavirus cases forced the NHL to reconsider plans to participate in the Winter Games. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

With their season halted amid a spike in coronavirus cases and the rise of the omicron variant, NHL players will not participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics, a decision that comes just weeks ahead of the Beijing Games.

The NHL was the first major pro sports league in North America to make plans to halt play entirely. The pause isn’t a long one; the schedule is set to resume Monday.

How pro sports leagues are handling the latest coronavirus surge

The league shut down several teams before decisions about the Games and the regular season schedule changes were announced: the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins. (The Calgary Flames reopened their facility Monday after a lengthy pause.) And roughly 15 percent of NHL players were in the coronavirus protocols.

Here’s what you need to know about the NHL’s participation in the Winter Olympics.

The Beijing Olympics begin Feb. 4. Here’s what you need to know.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

End of the public health emergency: The Biden administration ended the public health emergency for the coronavirus pandemic on May 11, just days after WHO said it would no longer classify the coronavirus pandemic as a public health emergency. Here’s what the end of the covid public health emergency means for you.

Tracking covid cases, deaths: Covid-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States last year with covid deaths dropping 47 percent between 2021 and 2022. See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world.

The latest on coronavirus boosters: The FDA cleared the way for people who are at least 65 or immune-compromised to receive a second updated booster shot for the coronavirus. Here’s who should get the second covid booster and when.

New covid variant: A new coronavirus subvariant, XBB. 1.16, has been designated as a “variant under monitoring” by the World Health Organization. The latest omicron offshoot is particularly prevalent in India. Here’s what you need to know about Arcturus.

Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?

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