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WHL update on COVID-19 protocols & postponement of eight WHL Regular Season games

WHL Network

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today the following update on WHL COVID-19 Protocols, including current pausing of team activities for 15 WHL Clubs, resumption of team activities for one WHL Club, and the postponement of eight WHL Regular Season games.

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 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.

“The WHL and our member Clubs remain fully committed to playing through the 68-game WHL Regular Season schedule and Playoffs,” commented WHL 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. On behalf of the entire WHL, I wish to thank WHL fans and WHL corporate partners everywhere for their patience as we work to reschedule games in the coming weeks.”

The WHL is working in consultation with the WHL Chief Medical Officer regarding the matter concerning all Clubs currently paused. At this time, the following Clubs have paused all team activities, including on-ice practices and off-ice training, based on WHL COVID-19 Protocols:

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

As a result of the aforementioned WHL Clubs pausing team activities, the following eight (8) WHL Regular Season games have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date:

Saturday, January 8

  • Spokane at Seattle

Tuesday, January 11

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

Wednesday, January 12

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

WHL Clubs are responsible for monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 among players and hockey operations staff on a daily basis. Upon a player or hockey operations staff member exhibiting symptoms, the individual completes a rapid antigen test and isolates. If the rapid antigen 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 and the WHL Chief Medical Officer is made aware of the situation. The WHL, in consultation with its Chief Medical Officer, treats each situation as unique. As such, the WHL Chief Medical Officer reviews all positive test results and scenarios on a case-by-case basis, factoring in a number of variables, including travel, recent schedule, and potential exposures that may have occurred.

The health and safety of all WHL participants is the top priority for the WHL. In order to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, the WHL requires all WHL roster players, hockey operations staff, and other team and League office personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a Health Canada approved vaccine.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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