BREAKING: MRU Cougars facing COVID-19 outbreak with 18 cases

Toronto, ON- 18 members of the Mount Royal Cougars Men’s Hockey program have tested positive for COVID-19. The entire roster and staff were tested prior to a now-cancelled matchup against Hockey Canada’s U20 team and suspended training when the first member experienced symptoms. 

The games against the Canadian junior team were already called off after two players tested positive for the virus. The Canadian camp was suspended for two weeks while all players and staff entered quarantine in hopes of avoiding an outbreak ahead of the December IIHF World Junior Championship.

Mount Royal takes the ice in double overtime, 5-4 - Mount Royal University
(MRU Cougars)

“MRU did contract tracing and notified the impacted individuals,” said the University in a statement, going on to state that no university athletics programs will be training until after the new year. 

This is the first reported case of community spread at Mount Royal, but not the first to come from an Alberta U SPORTS-member school, with the University of Calgary Women’s Basketball team reporting eight cases earlier in November.

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Canada West cancelled the entire hockey season on Oct. 15, 2020, and 49 Sports reported that a potential “Alberta Cup” hockey tournament was in the works. The University of Alberta Head Coach, Ian Herbers confirmed rumours about it on TSN Edmonton, saying that both a 12 and 8 game tournament were in the works. However, with community spread across the MRU team and COVID-19 case counts skyrocketing across Alberta, a tournament seems unlikely. 

The Canadian World Junior team is scheduled to get out of their quarantine on Dec. 6 but is unlikely to have any exhibition games ahead of the tournament. Contact tracing has taken place in both circumstances and the identities of members have not been released, and will not be reported on by 49 Sports.

Cover Photo: MRU Cougars

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