A Penticton Vees player has tested positive for COVID-19.
The B.C. Hockey League office received notice about the positive test on Friday. After reaching out to the provincial health office for direction the league was informed Interior Health will conduct the follow-up procedures.
All Vees players and coaches have been placed under a 14-day quarantine and any billets, team personnel or staff who might have been in contact with the infected player will be tested for the virus. The league, in its notice placed on the BCHL website, said it will await any further instructions from the health authorities.
Last week, the Wenatchee Wild informed the league it will take a one-year hiatus and will not be playing this season due to the pandemic. The Wild is the only BCHL team based in the United States. Due to the U.S.-Canada border being closed the team and restrictions on travel imposed by Washington state the team is unable to travel to play any of the other of the league’s 17 teams.
All current Wild roster players have been released and are free to join other teams.
“This is a sad day for the Wenatchee Wild organization,” said Wild general manager Bliss Littler. “We feel for our players, housing families, fans, season ticket holders, corporate sponsors and the Town Toyota Center. It’s not a good day for any of us. This will hurt for a while for sure, but I know we will get through this and we will be back better than ever for the 2021-2022 season.”
A new provincial health order issued Nov. 19 placed restrictions on teams which prohibit travel from region to region at least until Dec. 7. That forced the BCHL to delay the start of the new season. The Prince George Spruce Kings had been planning to open the regular season at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena Dec. 4-5 against Merritt. A new schedule for the 17 remaining teams has yet to be announced.