The Revelstoke Grizzlies, part of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), the same league as the Kimberley Dynamiters, have ceased operations for the remainder of the season due to multiple members testing positive for COVID-19.
The team was informed on Tuesday, Jan. 26 that a potential COVID-19 contact had occurred at a player’s place of employment.
KIJHL’s Return-to-Play protocols necessitated that the team immediately consult with Interior Health and institute a mandatory self-isolation period for both athletes and staff.
The player in question then did test positive for COVID-19 and additional members of the team also received positive test results.
“Earlier this week we elected to temporarily cancel team activities in an effort to keep our billet families, players and greater community safe,” said Grizzlies head coach and general manager Ryan Parent. “In light of having received multiple positive test results, we have had to make another hard decision. It is with a heavy heart that we have ceased operations for the 2020/21 KIJHL season.
“This is a disheartening step to have to take for our athletes, especially after the abrupt ending to last year’s playoffs at the onset of the pandemic. We feel we have done the right thing by our players by allowing them to chase their dreams this season and work to achieve their future goals,” continued Parent. “We would like to thank the entire community of Revelstoke, whose support for junior hockey has been outstanding, and especially our valued billet families. These have been stressful times but the care they’ve provided these young men is invaluable and it means the world to us. Things will be better for our national sport in the future and you can bet we will be ready.”
The KIJHL season has been on hold due to restrictions put in place by a Provincial Health Order and will remain paused until Feb. 5 when the league is expected to make an announcement regarding the duration of the season.
“The KIJHL fully supports the Grizzlies’ decision to end their season due to these positive test results,” says Commissioner Jeff Dubois. “We applaud the Grizzlies organization for acting in the best interests of the health and safety of their athletes, staff, billets and community, and we wish those who have tested positive for COVID-19 a safe and speedy recovery.”