Curling Canada chief executive officer Katherine Henderson said Friday that the upcoming world women's curling championship in Prince George, B.C., was still a go and that the federation was taking "all necessary precautions" amid ongoing concerns about the novel coronavirus.
Health officials in British Columbia and across Canada have said the risk posed by COVID-19 in the country remains low. Many international and domestic sporting events have been postponed, cancelled or moved in recent weeks due to the outbreak.
Henderson said she has had regular discussions with the World Curling Federation about the March 14-22 event at the CN Centre, and is also communicating with health authorities and all levels of government.
"The theme right now is that as we proceed with proper precautions ... the risk is extremely low of an infectious outbreak in Prince George," Henderson said on a conference call. "On behalf of Curling Canada, we have confidence that health authorities in Prince George are prepped.
"The World Curling Federation is (communicating) with the teams and the member nations about what they should be doing. So we are ensuring that everybody knows proper public health protocols and procedures."
Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., will represent Canada. There are 12 other entries in the field, including teams from China, South Korea, Japan and Italy.
Many top international curlers are based in Canada during the curling season.
"We still plan to go ahead at this time, but are monitoring the situation regularly," a World Curling Federation spokesman said Friday in an email.
Canada's first apparent case of community transmission was reported in British Columbia on Thursday night. Officials said a woman in the Vancouver area was diagnosed with COVID-19, even though she had not travelled recently and had no known contact with anyone else diagnosed with the virus.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 51 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
"The situation can change and when and if it does, we will be prepped for any changes that could occur," Henderson said. "Right now everything is a go and we're taking all necessary precautions."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2020.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press