The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) confirmed on Wednesday an outbreak of 18 cases of COVID-19 among players and staff of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
The QMJHL has not said anything about the Sherbrooke Phoenix, who faced the Armada twice in the first weekend of Circuit Courteau activity.
The league recalled that the activities of the Armada are still suspended indefinitely and that players and staff have been placed in segregation for a period of 14 days.
“Despite a very tight and rigorous health and medical protocol, we knew that COVID-19 was a disease with a high risk of contagion, which could eventually spread to some players and members of the staff of our teams,” said in a statement the commissioner of the QMJHL, Gilles Courteau.
“However, we are overly confident of the effectiveness of the measures contained in our contingency plan which is currently underway. We want to reiterate that the situation is being taken seriously at the league level and that the QMJHL and Armada medical teams are following up as appropriate. The league and its formations continue to closely follow the directives of the Public Health. “
The Armada declined to comment on the situation.
On the Phoenix side, the organization confirmed that the entire team was tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday and is awaiting the results. The Phoenix does not intend to comment further on this matter, however, redirecting The Canadian Press to the league authorities.
On Monday, the QMJHL had confirmed a first case of COVID-19 from an Armada player, barely a few hours after the decision of the Quebec government to interrupt certain sports and leisure activities in the regions of the province in zone red, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
This decision has a significant impact on the Armada, but also on the Remparts de Quebec, the two clubs should in principle cease all activities at least until the end of October.
However, the Remparts were granted permission to continue their training sessions on ice. Before the start of classes, the Remparts had agreed with the schools attended by their players that their lessons would be done remotely this season, explained the spokesperson for the club. The players thus follow their lessons grouped together at the Videotron Center before returning to their homes, thus creating a bubble in the same way as groups classify sports-study programs.
Without realizing it, this decision taken by the Remparts this summer smiles on them today, as it allows them to continue their training.
Remparts general manager and head coach Patrick Roy said on Tuesday that the organization will suggest that the league bring together all of its players and staff at a hotel so they can play.
A spokesperson for the QMJHL confirmed that circuit authorities were in communication with those of Public Health and that a proposal containing several elements was filed. The league is awaiting a response in the coming days.