WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The National Hockey League has suspended its 2019-2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes the Washington Capitals. Baltimore doesn’t have a professional hockey team.

The Capitals were supposed to play the Detroit Red Wings Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Washington-based team said in a statement Thursday afternoon they are closely monitoring the health of its players, saying in part:

“The Capitals will continue to closely monitor the health of players, coaches and hockey operations staff. Those who exhibit illness symptoms will be evaluated by medical personnel and tested when necessary, per CDC guidelines. In addition, the Capitals and Monumental Sports & Entertainment will continue to monitor the situation with an emphasis on the health and safety of our fans, employees and players.

The Capitals will communicate additional information to season ticket holders, partners and other affected parties within the next few days.”

“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games.”

“The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point – it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

“We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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