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A vaccinated section of fans at a New York Islanders game. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL announced in a press release on Wednesday that all but four players are vaccinated.

The big picture: With only four out of more than 700 players unvaccinated this season, the NHL has a 99% vaccination rate, according to NPR.

  • All NHL officials and "personnel that come into contact with the players" are also vaccinated, but it is unclear how many personnel are included in the league's stats, per NPR.

The big picture: The NHL introduced their unvaccinated policy last month, which had multiple restrictions for unvaccinated players.

  • Unvaccinated players will be tested daily and will not be allowed to go anywhere on the road except the team hotel, practice facility and the arena, according to ESPN.
  • Teams can suspend unvaccinated players who are "unable to participate in club activities," The Athletic reports. Unvaccinated players will also have to surrender one day's pay for each day they miss, unless they have a valid religious reason or medical excuse, according to ESPN.
  • But if a vaccinated player contracts COVID-19, it "shall be treated as a hockey-related injury for all purposes," per ESPN.

Of note: Five players — including Colorado star forward Nathan MacKinnon — entered NHL COVID-19 protocol on opening day, according to the statement.

What they're saying: "Everybody banded together to do the right thing. Maybe that's why hockey is the ultimate team sport," commissioner Gary Bettman said, referring to the NHL and the NHL Players' Association.

  • "We continue to reinforce the fact that everybody has to remain vigilant, particularly when we have teams traveling the way our teams typically do so we don't lose sight of this fact," Bettman added.

What's next: The NHL season started this week and will continue for the next several months.

Go deeper

10 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Rand Paul claims vindication in battle with Anthony Fauci

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Mike Allen in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that President Biden should fire Anthony Fauci "just for lack of judgment, if nothing else."

The big picture: Paul claims vindication in his dispute with Fauci, played out at heated Senate hearings, over the level of risk of U.S.-funded research in Wuhan, where COVID began.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. The storm system claimed the lives of two people in Washington state after a tree fell on a vehicle amid powerful winds Sunday.

In photos: Drought-ravaged California lashed by major storm

Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down on Oct. 24 in Marin City, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A major storm system was pummeling Northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains overnight.

The big picture: "Atmospheric river" storms, associated with a record-strong "bomb cyclone" offshore from the Pacific Northwest, have brought flooding and mudslides to parts of California that were razed by recent wildfires and in severe drought. It's also caused widespread power outages in California, Oregon and Washington state.