Charlottetown Islanders must follow self-isolation rules, Morrison says
Like other businesses, Islanders will have to apply to work-isolate
The Charlottetown Islanders hockey team resumes play this weekend in Cape Breton, but Dr. Heather Morrison says players and staff must self-isolate when they return to P.E.I., just like everyone else.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced Monday that it would resume play between P.E.I. and the two Nova Scotia teams, the Halifax Mooseheads and Cape Breton Eagles. Play will continue to be suspended for the three New Brunswick teams as that province continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases.
At her regular Tuesday briefing, Morrison strongly discouraged non-essential travel off P.E.I. She said that just like any other business, the team can apply to work-isolate when coming back from games in Nova Scotia.
"We're not deciding which work is more important than other work at this point in time," she said.
Work-isolation means the team could go directly back and forth to the rink for games and practices, but must self-isolate at all other times. That would rule out players, coaches or team staff going to school or any off-ice jobs.
Players would also have to self-isolate away from their billet families, Morrison said.
As for visiting teams, Morrison said they must get tested for COVID-19 before games, self-isolate at all times while away from the rink, and leave immediately following the game.
The Cape Breton Eagles noted in an online statement that spectators will not be allowed into Centre 200 to watch games until at least Feb. 8 due to Nova Scotia public health restrictions. The Islanders are due to play the Eagles at 7 p.m. AT on Friday night.
"While this is certainly not something we hoped for as an organization, it was the only way we would be able to resume play in the short term," Eagles president Gerard Shaw said in the statement.
85 charges so far
So far, 85 charges have been issued for violating public health measures during the pandemic, including eight new charges in the past week.
Morrison said players and staff of the Charlottetown Islanders would be subject to charges just like everyone else if they failed to obey the rules.
She said she was holding a call with Islanders and league staff later Tuesday to discuss the situation. The team said it would not comment until it has time to process the information from the meeting.
The Islanders are in first place in the QMJHL with a 12-2 record.
The Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior A Hockey league are also eligible to apply for work-isolation, Morrison said.
Reminder about symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
- Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
- Sore throat.
- New or worsening fatigue.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.