Vancouver Canucks Covid-19 outbreak spread rapidly among players

Vancouver (AFP) –


The Vancouver Canucks Covid-19 positive count has ballooned to 21 players with the entire team now under quarantine isolation, the NHL club announced on Wednesday.

In addition, the club said four staff members have tested positive and one player is isolating because of contact tracing protocols.

The team said the outbreak was triggered by a variant of the coronavirus and then quickly spread throughout the roster.

"This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes," said team doctor Jim Bovard. "Rapid spread of infection throughout the team indicates a link between contacts and the primary case."

American defenceman Nate Schmidt was added to the list on Wednesday. Bovard said the outbreak was traced back to "a single individual obtained in a community setting".

The Canucks have had their last five games postponed and they haven't played since losing to the Winnipeg Jets, 5-1, two weeks ago. The Canucks' outbreak started with forward Adam Gaudette's positive COVID-19 test on March 30.

In addition to Gaudette and Schmidt, the Vancouver players in coronavirus protocol include, Travis Boyd, Jayce Hawyrluk, Nils Hoglander, Bo Horvat, Zack MacEwen, Marc Michaelis, Tyler Motte, Antoine Roussel, Brandon Sutter, Jalen Chatfield, Alex Edler, Travis Hamonic, Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers, and goaltenders Thatcher Demko and Braden Holtby.

The numbers include players on the taxi squad who do not have to be listed publicly.

"All players and staff currently remain in quarantine," Bovard said.

It is uncertain when the Canucks will play again but the NHL said earlier this week it is optimistic they will be able to complete their 56-game schedule.