Sask. hockey teams dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks
REGINA -- As of Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority announced four hockey teams in Saskatchewan have COVID-19 outbreaks. Even more have single cases.
An outbreak is categorized as a group with two or more members who test positive for COVID-19. U19 Prince Albert Bruins, the Prince Albert Global Sports Academy, the Senior Men’s Balcarres Bronc’s and the Assiniboia Rebels Hockey all have outbreaks and are self-isolating.
Members of the Regina AAA Pat Canadians have been following the Saskatchewan Hockey Association’s return to play guidelines, however, the Saskatchewan Midget AAA hockey league is not immune to COVID-19.
Four north division games were cancelled as individuals from teams await test results.
“I think we’re all kind of on pins and needles,” Darrin McKechnie, the Pat Canadians Head Coach, said. “Hockey and other sports are doing their part. I mean you don’t see in the numbers big cases coming out of the sports teams and things like that. We’ve had small little glitches and then we’ve put them out.”
He added that their team has been diligent in the following protocol.
The U13 Regina AA Rebels have only played two games, but are worried about the virus impacting their season.
“To be out doing things with their friends, being able to play hockey, being able to be around the rink has helped their mentality,” Erin Marshall, the Rebels Head Coach, said. “We’re lucky, we’re fortunate, not many people in Canada are playing right now.”
Saskatchewan is the only province in western Canada that is still allowing competition. However, depending on the government’s upcoming announcement on Wednesday afternoon, that could quickly change.
“We’re always worried we’re going to get shut down but we’re just trying to enjoy it while we can,” Pat Canadians player Sam Boldt said.
The defenseman added the team has been “following all the rules, wearing all the masks and keeping our bubble small.”
Rules mandate that masks must be work before and after physical activity, including hockey. The rule may evolve to include competition and training if COVID-19 numbers continue to increase.
“I think we’d just have to deal with it and if it keeps us playing we would do it but it’s not ideal,” McKechnie said.
Saskatchewan officials will bring forward “further measures” to slow the spread of COVID-19 at a press conference on Wednesday.
The live update will be streamed live on CTVNewsRegina.ca and CTVNewsSaskatoon.ca.