Feds approve NHL cohort quarantine plan, removing an obstacle for hub cities

Feds approve NHL cohort quarantine plan, removing an obstacle for hub cities

OTTAWA — The federal government has approved the NHL’s proposal of a cohort quarantine, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday.

The exception to the traditional 14-day quarantine for anyone entering Canada is meant to remove a hurdle to the candidacy of Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver as “hub” cities if the league is able to return to play later this summer.

The cohort quarantine would keep players separate from the general public, rather than require players to isolate individually for the two-week period.

Freeland said the cohort quarantine would involve regular screening. It would be crucial that the directives of medical officers are closely followed, she added.

When asked what would happen if a player or staff member tests positive, Canada’s chief public health officer said instructions from the specific local health authority must be followed.

“That’s the primary approach. If there was a positive test identification, that is linked to the local public health response,” Dr. Theresa Tam said.

“I think that’s the critical aspect of it. Through the protocol which is continuously reviewed, the idea is through regular testing to reduce the actual impact of the number of people that would have to be removed from the game itself. I think ultimately the decision has to be based on the public health assessment at the time.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said if Edmonton is selected and a player or staff member tests positive, local health authorities would be in close contact with the NHL to determine the next steps.

“Whatever the circumstances end up determining, we would ensure there would be no risk to the public and no risk for spread outside that particular cohort,” she said.

On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning closed their facilities after three players and additional staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The closure came some two weeks after players were allowed to return to their respective facilities to take part in voluntary on- and off-ice workouts. Players were allowed to skate in groups of up to six at a time.

The NHL said Friday that more than 200 players have been tested during voluntary workouts at club facilities since June 8, with 11 testing positive.

Hinshaw said the Lightning’s situation wouldn’t change Edmonton’s plan.

“I believe the protocols we have in place would effectively prevent transmission,” she said.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said she was satisfied with the NHL’s plan.

“To our minds as long as public health considerations are suitably addressed, which is what we’ve seen premised on the documents we’ve had to look at, we look forward to seeing how the decision is made and look forward to being able to welcome people safely in our city,” she said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said having the city picked could be a “morale boost” before taking a playful shot at other candidates.

“I believe we’re the hockey capital of the world. I’ve mentioned that at couple of NHL functions I’ve gone to and some people from elsewhere take issue with that, but that’s their problem,” he said.

The three Canadian cities, along with Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, are in the running to be hub cities.

The NHL plans to start training camps for the 24 remaining teams on July 10 and hopes to resume play later in the summer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central zone has 20 active cases of COVID-19

Province identified 143 new cases across Alberta on Wednesday

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library going waste free with new program

The Zero Waste DIY program begins on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. on Zoom

COVID-19: Active cases in central zone up Tuesday

Central zone active cases remains lowest of all zones

PHOTOS: Eckville graduates receive their diplomas, finally

Eckville Jr./Sr. High School held a socially distanced grad over the weekend

Central zone active cases down to 20

Province provides update

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Missionary plane dedicated at Ponoka, Lacombe airports

MiracleAir flies humanitarian missions to Nicaragua

RCMP investigating after far-right groups disrupt anti-racism rally in Alberta

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said she respects the right of peaceful assembly, but denounces racism and violence

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Most Read