WHL suspends team activities for Rockets following positive COVID-19 tests

The Western Hockey League is dealing with their first major COVID-19 related challenge of the 2020-21 season.

In a statement that came out early Wednesday evening, the WHL announced that all activities involving the Kelowna Rockets had been suspended for a minimum of two weeks through Wednesday, April 14 following six additional positive COVID-19 tests.

According to the league, the positive test results belong to two hockey staff members and four players.

“The six positive test results received today follow one positive test result for COVID-19, which was received on Tuesday, March 30. All other test results from the other participating team cohorts in the RE/MAX Hub Centres (in Kelowna and Kamloops) came back negative,” the league said in a prepared statement.

As a result of the Rockets being unable to play for two weeks, their next eight games have been postponed, in addition to a matchup between the Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday that did not take place.

A contest scheduled for Wednesday night between the Vancouver Giants and the Prince George Cougars was also postponed out of an abundance of caution.

“The WHL or Kelowna Rockets will not be providing any further comment at this time,” the league added. “The WHL will continue to work in consultation with B.C. Health Authorities on when it is safe for the Kelowna Rockets to resume team activities.

“Any further adjustments to the schedule of games in the RE/MAX Hub Centres will be provided at a later date.”

The Rockets opened their season with a 5-0 win over the Victoria Royals on March 26 and lost a 6-0 contest two days later to the Giants.