(Edmonton) The Edmonton Elks have announced that nine players have tested positive for COVID-19 since returning from their game against the BC Lions.
Team president and chief executive Chris Bryson said players and staff are in isolation and that the team’s training facility has been closed for seven days.
“Everyone has been tested and we will continue to test them daily until we are out of them,” Bryson said.
The update comes a day after the Canadian Football League on Thursday postponed the duel between the Elks and the Toronto Argonauts. Then the number of players present was not shared.
“The past two or three days have been tough, to put it that way,” added Bryson.
The Elks’ last game was Thursday night in Vancouver, when they beat the Lions 21-16. The Canadian Football Association said the Lions would be closely watched this season, but they were not at risk of injury. British Columbia forces prepare to face Ottawa Rouge and Noire on August 28.
Bryson explained that the positive tests came from a “mix” of vaccinated and unvaccinated players, but he did not disclose the names.
“Obviously we caught the virus somewhere and we have to be very diligent,” Bryson said. This is not only a red flag for our organization, but I would say it is also for the entire league. ”
Bryson confirmed that he believes the postponed match against the Argonauts will take place later in the season.
According to CFL protocols, if a game is canceled due to COVID-19 and cannot be resumed, the club suffering from COVID-19 will suffer a 1-0 loss. If both teams have virus issues, they will both suffer a loss of concession.
In each of these scenarios, if the team can demonstrate that at least 85% of the contracted players have been vaccinated at least once, they will get paid even if the match is called off. If the total is less than 85%, players will not be paid.
Presson couldn’t say how many Elks players were vaccinated other than the number that was “greater than zero”.
Asked about reports that the Elks have the lowest vaccination rates in the CFL, Presson noted that at least two other teams had lower rates the last time he saw the numbers.
“We can only do what we can, which is to follow the protocols that the league has developed for us,” he insisted.
After the first three weeks of the CFL season, the Elks were the only team to report positive cases of COVID-19.
The Elks’ next game is scheduled for Labor Day against the Calgary Stampeders.
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