WHL announces 15 teams pausing activities due to COVID-19 protocols

What should have been a busy weekend in the Western Hockey League is now quite light in content.

On Friday, the WHL announced that 15 of its 22 teams are pausing team activities due to COVID-19 protocols.

“At this time, 15 clubs have recently paused team activities as a result of multiple players and staff being added to the WHL COVID-19 protocol list due to exhibiting symptoms or having tested positive for COVID-19,” the WHL said in a statement.

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Below are the teams teams that have currently paused their activities:

  • Calgary Hitmen
  • Edmonton Oil Kings
  • Everett Silvertips
  • Kamloops Blazers
  • Medicine Hat Tigers
  • Moose Jaw Warriors
  • Prince Albert Raiders
  • Red Deer Rebels
  • Regina Pats
  • Saskatoon Blades
  • Spokane Chiefs
  • Tri-City Americans
  • Victoria Royals
  • Winnipeg Ice

Ten games were slated to take place Friday, and all 10 have been postponed.

For Saturday, 10 games were scheduled, but only one is taking place: the Kelowna Rockets (16-9-1-3, 36 points) hosting the Portland Winterhawks (16-11-3-1, 36 points).

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Three games are on tap for Sunday, with two being postponed. The third game will feature Portland visiting Vancouver (15-16-1-0, 31 points) at 4 p.m.

The league noted that the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Swift Current Broncos have been cleared to resume all team activities.

“It is anticipated that numerous other WHL clubs currently on pause will be cleared to resume team activities in the coming days,” said the league.

“The WHL and our member clubs remain fully committed to playing through the 68-game WHL regular season schedule and playoffs,” said league commissioner Ron Robison.

“As we work through the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our priority continues to be to deliver a world-class development experience for WHL players, staff, and officials, and to do so in a safe and healthy manner.”

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The WHL said several games next week will also be postponed:

Tuesday, Jan. 11:

  • Calgary at Regina
  • Prince Albert at Edmonton
  • Spokane at Victoria
  • Kelowna at Prince George

Wednesday, Jan. 12:

  • Calgary at Moose Jaw
  • Spokane at Victoria
  • Kelowna at Prince George

The league says teams are responsible for monitoring players and staff for COVID symptoms on a daily basis.

The WHL says if a player or staff member exhibits symptoms, a rapid test is performed, with that person isolating. If the test is positive, a PCR test is then performed to confirm the first test.

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“If there are multiple rapid antigen-positive test results for COVID-19, all team activities are paused immediately,” said the league.

“The entire team completes one round of PCR testing and isolates until the results are received and the WHL chief medical officer is made aware of the situation.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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