Gatineau hockey league suspended for 2 weeks due to COVID-19
2 volunteer coaches linked to Aylmer Minor Hockey Association tested positive
A minor hockey league in Gatineau is putting its season on hold for the next two weeks because of COVID-19.
The Aylmer Minor Hockey Association said it's suspending all hockey operations Tuesday, after learning of an outbreak of COVID-19 among participants in a hockey league for adults.
"Since many of our volunteer coaches play in this league and in order to protect our young players, their parents and our volunteers, it is with regret that the Aylmer Minor Hockey Association has decided to stop all hockey activities," the league wrote in a Facebook post. The association said the suspension is for activities scheduled until Oct. 20.
Two volunteer coaches in the association have also tested positive, the league said.
The suspension affects just under a thousand young players at a variety of levels who play for the Aylmer Mariniers.
The decision — announced the same day as a record 66 new COVID-19 cases in western Quebec — follows the one-night closure of two arenas in the Gatineau area days ago.
The City of Gatineau said in a press release Friday that it was temporarily closing the Frank-Robinson and Paul-et-Isabelle-Duchesnay arenas in Aylmer for extra cleaning, after users of the arena tested positive for the virus. Activities resumed the next day.
Aylmer Minor Hockey Association's suspension of hockey means Janelle Wright's son's hockey season is on pause.
"My son is sad that hockey is not going to be going for the next couple of weeks," said Wright, whose 13-year-old plays for the Bantam AA team.
"He was really excited about hockey restarting, really excited about making the team. But he understands at the same time that the health of people is more important than hockey."
Wright said the league is doing everything it can to keep people safe with precautions at the rink, including masks in dressing rooms, sanitization protocols and extra cleaning.
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But it doesn't surprise her that cases have popped up among people in the hockey community.
"I always had in the back of my head that this was a possibility and a probability that people would be going to the arenas and eventually there would be cases showing up," she said.