Team Canada’s National Junior Team training camp bubble in Red Deer is off to a rough start.
Camp has been halted after two players tested positive for COVID-19 this morning, as the team prepares for the start of the World Junior Championship in Edmonton next month.
“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,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior vice-president of national teams.
With the World Juniors beginning on Christmas Day and most eligible players without a team to play on due to the pandemic, Hockey Canada is conducting a four-week long camp in Red Deer to prepare for the tournament. Players, coaches, and staff are being tested regularly and are confined to the rink and the team hotel.
Once teams arrive in Edmonton for the tournament, the IIHF will utilize the same bubble concept that was successful for the NHL this past summer.
“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 10 days,” Salmond added. “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.”
Like much of the country, Alberta has been hit hard by rising coronavirus numbers of late, reporting 3,119 cases over the weekend, including a record-breaking 1,570 new cases on Saturday.