The Red Deer Rebels will not hit the ice as scheduled this weekend, after the team was placed on pause because of the WHL’s COVID-19 protocols. (File photo by Advocate Staff)

The Red Deer Rebels will not hit the ice as scheduled this weekend, after the team was placed on pause because of the WHL’s COVID-19 protocols. (File photo by Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Rebels still on pause, WHL postpones more games

Despite a number of postponed games in recent days, the Western Hockey League remains committed to playing a full 68 game season.

The league has paused team activities for 15 of its 22 teams in the last week and postponed close to two dozen games over that span.

“The WHL and our member clubs remain fully committed to playing through the 68-game WHL Regular Season schedule and Playoffs,” said WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in a news release.

“As we work through the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our priority continues to be to deliver a world-class development experience for WHL players, staff, and officials, and to do so in a safe and healthy manner.”

The Swift Current Broncos, who paused team activities on Dec. 30, were allowed to resume them starting Friday. After the Lethbridge Hurricanes had 14 players placed in the COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 1, they have also been cleared to resume team activities.

The Red Deer Rebels paused team activities on Jan. 4, after eight players and staff tested positive or showed symptoms of COVID-19. As of Friday, they have not yet been cleared to return to play.

Their home games on Friday and Saturday were both postponed. Next Wednesday, the Rebels are still scheduled to host the Prince Albert Raiders. The Raiders were scheduled to play the Edmonton Oil Kings in Edmonton on Tuesday, but that game was postponed according to Friday’s release.

Three games have been postponed already on Jan. 12, including Calgary at Moose Jaw, Spokane at Victoria and Kelowna at Prince George.

In the release, the league also outlined its procedures related to COVID-19. Teams are responsible for monitoring symptoms of players and staff and if anyone is symptomatic, they need to undergo a rapid antigen test. If that is positive, they need to undergo a PCR test.

“If there are multiple rapid antigen positive test results for COVID-19, all team activities are paused immediately. The entire team completes one round of PCR testing and isolates until the results are received and the WHL Chief Medical Officer is made aware of the situation,” the release states.

“The WHL, in consultation with its Chief Medical Officer, treats each situation as unique. As such, the WHL Chief Medical Officer reviews all positive test results and scenarios on a case-by-case basis, factoring in a number of variables, including travel, recent schedule, and potential exposures that may have occurred.”



byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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