After two intra-squad scrimmage matches, Hockey Canada was forced to suspend the 2021 World Juniors Selection Camp due to two players contracting COVID-19, as announced on Nov. 25.
The following comes from Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams, on behalf of Hockey Canada:
“Following the confirmation of two positive tests among players at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp on Monday, Hockey Canada has confirmed that all players, coaches and staff are considered close contacts and are therefore subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period under Alberta Health Services’ Order 05-2020. Hockey Canada will continue to abide by all protocols and guidelines set forth by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, as it is not exempt from Order 05-2020, and will put a pause on all camp activities until the quarantine period is complete.
Upon learning of the positive tests on Monday, the decision was made to suspend all camp activities and quarantine players and staff immediately. As per Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff members will go through additional testing before resuming any camp activities. We remain in constant communication with the appropriate health authorities, and we appreciate and thank Alberta Health Services for its dedication to ensuring the health and safety of our players, staff and the community at large.”
The players and staff should be cleared to resume camp early next week. They’ve been able to workout and train, thanks largely to local fitness studio owner Colleen Manning, who coordinated an effort to collect spin bikes from Red Deer businesses that can’t be open right now due to COVID-19 restrictions. In total, 69 bikes from the community were loaned to Hockey Canada to allow training to continue in quarantine.
A call went out and the Red Deer fitness community pulled through!— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) November 28, 2020
Team effort to keep players and staff moving in quarantine. Grateful for local support. pic.twitter.com/dcHutdGddd
According to Quinton Byfield, the players have been keeping in touch through “quite a bit of Zoom calls” and “playing a lot of [PlayStation] 4 with the guys.”
In a short video for Hockey Canada, he explains they’re “trying to stay connected — going over what our next move is, what’s happening next and just make sure that we stay level-headed.”
“Super excited to still be here, just kind of waiting for the next step.”