The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Revelstoke Grizzlies have ceased operations for the remainder of the 2020/21 season after members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19.
On Tuesday, January 26th, the Grizzlies became aware of a potential COVID-19 contact that occurred through a team player’s place of employment. In accordance with KIJHL Return-to-Play protocols, the club immediately consulted with Interior Health and instituted a mandatory self-isolation for athletes and staff. The player in question subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, and additional members of the team have also since 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,” says Grizzlies head coach & 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 remains paused due to restrictions currently in place under the Provincial Health Order in effect through February 5th. The league will make an announcement regarding plans for the current season at that time.
“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.”