Tuesday night’s (March 30) game in the Okanagan between the Kamloops Blazers and the Kelowna Rockets has been postponed after a staff member of the Rockets tested positive for COVID-19. No players have tested positive, according to the Western Hockey League.
As a result of the positive test in the team cohort, the Rockets have suspended all team activities.
The WHL said it is working in consultation with B.C. health authorities. Pending determination of close contacts and further test results, the WHL will provide further information.
On March 19, another member of the Rockets’ team cohort tested positive for COVID-19. At that time, the league said the positive test was discovered during the initial return-to-play testing phase. The individual was required to self-isolate for 14 days, as was one other individual within the cohort deemed a close contact of the person who tested positive.
Due to the pandemic, the WHL is playing a truncated season, with teams in B.C. playing one another only, as are teams in the U.S. and teams on the Prairies (Alberta and Saskatchewan and Manitoba).
There has been no word on whether the 24-game season will be followed by playoffs.
Kelowna and Victoria are based in Kelowna, while Kamloops is home to the Blazers, the Prince George Cougars and the Vancouver Giants. All games are being played in Kamloops and Kelowna.
There will be no spectators at the games, though Blazers’ games will be broadcast on Radio NL (650 AM) and streaming options are available at whl.ca.
The postponed game was the third on the schedule for both teams.
The Blazers are 2-0 in this truncated season. Kamloops opened the season on the weekend with two wins at Sandman Centre, one of two hubs hosting B.C. Division teams of the Western Hockey League.
Kamloops, Vancouver and Prince George are based in the Tournament Capital, while Kelowna and Victoria are home in the Okanagan city.
On Friday night, Kamloops defeated Vancouver 7-3 before recording a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Prince George on Saturday night.
The Blazers are scheduled to play Victoria in Kelowna this Thursday before facinng Vancouver this Saturday at Sandman Centre.