Three Vancouver Giants games have been called off because the Langley-based team and a number of opponents were being tested for COVID.
A statement issued by the Western Hockey League on Saturday said the Giants “have paused all team activities as a result of multiple players or staff being added to the WHL COVID-19 protocol list due to exhibiting symptoms or having tested positive for COVID-19.”
“Paused” means a halt to all team activities, including on-ice practices and off-ice training.
Friday’s (Jan. 7) away game against Kelowna, Saturday’s (Jan. 8) road trip to Kamloops, and the Sunday afternoon (Jan. 9) home game against Portland will be rescheduled, the team said.
As of Saturday, next weekend’s back-to-back games against the Prince George Cougars were still on the schedule for Friday, Jan. 14 (at 7:30 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 15 (7 p.m.), at the Langley Events Centre.
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The Giants matches are among at least nine regular season games postponed by the Western Hockey League.
Among the 16 teams undergoing COVID testing were Victoria Royals, Kamloops Blazers, Prince Albert Raiders, Prince George Cougars, Everett Silvertips, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans.
WHL Commissioner Ron Robison said the league and member clubs “remain fully committed to playing through the 68-game WHL regular season schedule and playoffs.”
All WHL roster players, hockey operations staff, and other team and league office personnel are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a Health Canada approved vaccine.
Clubs are responsible for monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 among players and hockey operations staff on a daily basis.
Anyone exhibiting symptoms will isolate and get a rapid antigen test.
If the rapid test result is positive, the individual is sent for a PCR test to confirm the positive result and determine next steps.
If there are multiple rapid antigen positive test results for COVID-19, all team activities are paused immediately.
The entire team completes one round of PCR testing and isolates until the results are received.
All cases are reviewed by the WHL’s chief medical officer.
On Saturday, the league announced the Moose Jaw Warriors, Regina Pats, and Tri-City Americans have all been cleared to resume all team activities.
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