Variant confirmed in Canucks' COVID-19 outbreak as cases climb to 25
The total number of positive COVID-19 tests resulting from the Vancouver Canucks' recent outbreak has hit 25, the team announced on Wednesday.
In an update on its health situation co-signed by team doctor Jim Bovard and infectious disease physician Josh Douglas, the team said that 21 players — including three from the taxi squad — and four staffers have been infected with a variant of the virus.
"As of today, 25 individuals have tested positive and the source infection is confirmed a variant — full genome sequencing by BCCDC will be required to determine which specific type," the statement reads. "Among the 25 positive cases are 21 players (three players from taxi squad) and four members of staff. One additional player is considered a close contact."
The release explained that more testing needed to be completed in order to determine which specific variant is responsible for the outbreak. Recent reports of the Brazilian P.1 variant potentially making its way through the Canucks organization were deemed incorrect by B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who said she was "not aware that any of the cases in the Canucks organization are related to P.1, I don’t know where that started, but not that I’m aware of.”
In the release, the team also elaborated on some more findings they've uncovered during their investigation.
"An ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and club contact tracing staff attributes the source infection to a single individual obtained in a community setting, which has since been identified by public health as a public exposure location.
"Rapid spread of infection throughout the team indicates a link between contacts and the primary case."
Dr. Bovard finished the note with a plea to the public to stay diligent and on-guard as we battle potentially the worst wave of the virus yet.
"The health and safety of players, staff, families and the greater community remains the utmost priority. The Canucks are grateful for the continued support of local public health officials, the NHL and NHLPA and encourage everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following health orders.
"COVID-19 infections are rising in B.C. This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes."
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