“Today is a big day,” Elks President and CEO Chris Presson said Friday afternoon at a virtual press conference. “This is the first time in many days that we have not tested positive.
That leaves the total number of cases identified since the team’s return from Vancouver last week at 14, unchanged from the team’s last update on Thursday afternoon.
2 more Edmonton Elks positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 14 since the BC game
The team also released information on the team’s vaccination rate, indicating that 63 of 79 Level 1 members (players and coaches) – 79.7 percent – are fully vaccinated. The Elks said three Level 1 members – 3.8% – are partially vaccinated.
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Presson added that as of Friday, 83.5% of Elks players and coaches had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“When you look at… Canada as a whole, there isn’t a province that has a higher vaccination rate than this.
“I think we should be proud of it,” Presson said.
Nationally, 82.7 percent of Canadians aged 12 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine by August 21. Prince Edward Island recorded the highest use. The cumulative percentage of people who received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Prince Edward Island was 79.7% as of August 21. As of Friday, 77.7% of eligible Albertans had received at least one dose.
Staff in Elks’ office “upstairs” have a vaccination rate of “almost 100 percent,” Presson added.
“I don’t know what else we can ask of our players, our staff, our managers. “
The CEO of Elks said he hopes the “negative rhetoric” changes and the “human element” is not lost.
“I think we’ve been described a bit like bad guys,” Presson said. “To my knowledge, there isn’t a league that hasn’t had several players who tested positive.
“This is part of the current situation. “
In an update at noon on Friday, the team said their isolation period had been extended from seven days to 10 days, based on instructions from provincial health officials.
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The Elks said all Level 1 players, coaches and staff will continue to receive daily COVID-19 PCR tests and remain in isolation until August 31.
From a health perspective, Presson said players who tested positive were doing well. Mentally, it is difficult to be isolated and alone, he said.
“The guys are a little tired… but above all, they do everything to get by.
He said a player who tested positive required “additional medical attention” but had another health problem in addition to COVID-19.
The team plans to return to their facilities for in-person activities on September 1.
Edmonton Elks game postponed after players test positive for COVID-19
A “football cohort” has been added to Alberta Health’s outbreak list.
Presson said the Elks are still not sure where the outbreak is coming from, but he believes the organization has done a lot right.
He highlighted the vaccination rate and other preventive measures in place, like contact tracing, for which the Elks use digital tracking bracelets.
“We have the contact tracing, but it’s done to mitigate player-to-player risk.
“The last thing we want to do is keep this going,” Presson said. “Of course, we are doing everything we can to ensure that this does not happen again. “
He said the organization was reverting to the original COVID-19 protocols that were in place for the start of the CFL season and that the rules will apply whether individuals are vaccinated or not.
11 Edmonton Elks players have now tested positive for COVID-19
The Elks have said the names of players who test positive for the disease will not be released. The organization also did not disclose the vaccination status of positive cases.
Any players who remain in COVID protocols when the team resumes field activities will be identified in the team’s first injury report, in accordance with Canadian Football League requirements.
In a press conference on Monday, the Elks announced that nine players had tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement came a day after the CFL postponed Edmonton’s scheduled game on Thursday night against the Toronto Argonauts. This match has not yet been rescheduled.
The league has set an 85 percent vaccination benchmark for teams.
According to CFL COVID policy, if a game is called off due to COVID-19 issues and cannot be rescheduled, the club with the issues will lose the game.
If a team can prove that 85% of its contracted players have been vaccinated, at least once and preferably in full, their players will receive their wages for the canceled match. If the team falls below that 85 percent threshold, the entire team will not receive their salary.
The CFL said the Lions – who were due to play in Ottawa on Saturday – will be closely watched this week. So far, the team has not announced a positive case.
The Elks face the Stampeders in Calgary on Monday, September 6.