Alberta implemented additional restrictions Tuesday night to help with the fight against rising COVID-19 cases in the province, but it shouldn't affect Hockey Canada's World Junior selection camp in Red Deer, Alberta Health Services told TSN's Ryan Rishaug.
Hockey Canada and Alberta Health Services have been working together on safety protocols for "some time," says Rishaug and may need to make adjustments going forward, but the training camp should be allowed to continue.
Earlier Tuesday, Hockey Canada was forced to postpone its third and final Red vs. White scrimmage game after two players tested positive for the virus. This comes after a "non-essential" staff member tested positive over the weekend.
“Hockey Canada confirmed earlier today that two players at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp have tested positive for COVID-19, and have been placed in quarantine at the team hotel in Red Deer," Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams, said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Upon learning of the positive test this morning, the decision was made to postpone the Red-White game scheduled for this morning at the Westerner Park Centrium, and to suspend all camp activities for today. As per Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff members took mandatory COVID-19 tests upon arrival at camp and have continued to be tested regularly throughout the past ten days. For precautionary reasons, we will also ensure that all players and team personnel go through an additional test before resuming camp activities. The appropriate local and provincial health authorities have been made aware of the situation, and we will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services. We will have no further comment at this time.”
It is still not known how many players and staff will need to self-isolate as close contacts of the positive tests.
The first cuts to the group of 46 named to Team Canada's selection camp were previously expected to come later on Tuesday. Head coach Andre Tourigny said Sunday he wanted to drop the roster to 30-to-34 players following Tuesday's scrimmage. Canada is scheduled to begin pre-competition games against U Sports teams on Saturday when they face the University of Alberta Golden Bears in the first of six games.
Currently, nothing is scheduled for Hockey Canada's training camp on Wednesday, notes Rishaug.
Canada's World Junior championship starts on Boxing Day with a clash against Germany.