Manitoba

Blue Bombers postpone event for Island Lake evacuees due to mumps concerns

An on-field event with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for evacuees from fire-threatened First Nations has been postponed due to concerns about mumps, the CFL team announced Thursday.

1 confirmed case of mumps in Brandon, others suspected among evacuees: Manitoba Health officer

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have postponed an event planned for Thursday for evacuees from three Manitoba First Nations. (Courtesy Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

An on-field event with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for evacuees from fire-threatened First Nations has been postponed due to concerns about mumps, the CFL team announced Thursday.

"We are incredibly disappointed we cannot host the evacuees who have been displaced from their homes. However, the safety of guests, fans, and players is the top priority of the Winnipeg Football Club when hosting events at the stadium," a Bombers spokesperson wrote in a news release.

The event would have taken place Thursday, hosting some of the roughly 5,000 people forced from their homes in Wasagamack, Garden Hill and St. Theresa Point First Nations due to fires last week.

On Wednesday, a medical officer of health with Manitoba Health told CBC News lab testing confirmed one case of mumps in an evacuee staying in Brandon, with further possible cases reported.

Anyone with symptoms resembling mumps has been put in isolation in a hotel, the officer said.

The team will host guests from St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill First Nations at upcoming home games on Sept. 22 and Oct. 28, with a player meet-and-greet after each game, as part of an ongoing agreement with Perimeter Aviation and the First Nations, the Bombers' statement said.

A Bombers spokesperson said that partnership flies members from First Nations communities to Winnipeg to see home games. Wasagamack residents were hosted at the home opener on July 7, the spokesperson said.

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