A total of 18 players and coaches from the men’s Mount Royal University (MRU) Cougars hockey team have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
In a statement Monday afternoon, a university spokesperson said the institution was sharing this information “because this is the first instance of a COVID-19 spread among the campus community.”
The school has no plans to comment on individual cases and said it will not be detailing which players and coaches have been infected to respect the privacy of those involved.
According to the MRU Cougars website, there are 25 players, four coaches and seven support staff on the 2020-21 roster.
MRU said the team stopped training after the first individual experienced symptoms and members are self-isolating.
“MRU did contact tracing and notified impacted individuals.” said a university spokesperson.
The university declined comment on whether Alberta Health was involved in any part of the contact tracing or what role Alberta Health played in notification. MRU also would not provide information on when the first case was identified or whether the team could have exposed players from other teams near the time these cases were considered active.
The team has not played any official games yet this season, but had an exhibition series against the junior national team scheduled for Dec. 5 and 6. Those December games had already been cancelled by Hockey Canada in early October.
As per the latest government restrictions, no varsity programs will be training until 2021 at the earliest.
According to MRU, the Cougars hockey team was training under multiple safety protocols beyond those required by the provincial government before all team sports were banned Nov. 24.
“The health and safety of our student athletes, coaches and other MRU Cougars staff is our top priority,” the university said.
The MRU athletics programs play within the Canada West conference governed by U Sports.
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