Canmore Eagles junior hockey team reports 16 positive cases of COVID, more in family contacts


It was mid-game on Nov. 14 when a Canmore Eagles player started to feel ill, his coach and general manager Andrew Milne said.The Eagles faced the Drumheller Dragons, a rival Alberta Junior Hockey League, at Drumheller Memorial Arena.

Back on the bus with the team after the game, the player expressed “feeling a little weak,” Milne said. “We just played two games, our first two games in a while. So we thought maybe it was a bit related to that. ”

It was about an hour and a half after the player’s illness escalated, the coach said.

“We saw he got off the bus and got into his car, and it’s been since the isolation and the isolation in his room,” Milne said on Friday on the Eyeopener de Calgary.

Andrew Milne, head coach and general manager of the Canmore Eagles, said all members of the Junior A team had been tested after the first positive case and “it was evident that we had a massive outbreak at our club” . (Terri Trembath / CBC)

Milne said the team took the day off the next day while monitoring his teammates for symptoms. On November 17, six members were showing symptoms of COVID-19. They began to isolate themselves, but the remaining members gathered for a practice.

On the morning of November 19, they learned that the player who first felt ill at Drumheller had tested positive. It was at this point that everyone on the team was asked to self-isolate immediately.

All but two of the players were stationed in the Canmore area, Milne said, so the majority of them were isolated in their homes. Two other members of the team isolated at home.

“We tested everyone, and that’s when the numbers obviously started to climb. And, you know, it was obvious that we had a massive epidemic in our club. ”

Now 16 players and team members have tested positive, according to Milne, and he is one of the positive cases.

“I think part of the reason for that large number was the fact that we were just on a bus and the ability to move around in some recirculated air was very limited,” Milne said.

This number does not include families related to the team who have been affected, including Milne’s family.

Milne said the cantonment families were “phenomenal” to work with, although this outbreak has caused “disruption”.

“There was a lot of disruption in their families, but that’s not why they signed up. ”

Milne said the team has stayed true to their bubble for social gatherings, practices and travel.

“It’s amazing how fast the web can go and start,” he said. “You can see how fast he’s moving and how fast he goes from guy to guy. “

COVID cases in AJHL teams

The Canmore Eagles reported their first case of COVID-19 on November 19 via their team’s website.

Other AJHL teams have reported cases:

  • The Calgary Canucks reported a positive case on November 20.
  • Drumheller Dragons reported a positive case on November 21.
  • Okotoks Oilers reported a positive case on November 22.

All announcements were made through the teams’ websites and citing privacy concerns, no further details would be provided.

CBC News has contacted the coaches of the Drumheller Dragons and Calgary Canucks, but received no further comment.

The AJHL season is currently on hold due to provincial restrictions. The AJHL Board of Governors intends to meet on Dec. 19 to determine next steps, according to a statement from AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.


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