The QMJHL bravely took on the task of starting the season in what many are calling the start of the second wave of COVID-19 in the Province of Quebec.
Just a few days into reopening for business, two QMJHL teams have been stopped by the pandemic after one player has tested positive for the virus.
Two QMJHL teams, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and their most recent opponent, the Sherbrooke Phoenix, have suspended in-person team activities due to a player on the Armada testing positive for COVID-19, the league announced Monday.
The activities of both the Armada and Phoenix, who played each other twice last weekend, will be paused until an investigation by public health officials exploring all contacts between players and staff has been completed.
In the interim, the league issued a memo to Armada executives, instructing players and staff to isolate and to undergo testing.
While this isn’t a complete stop for the season, it certainly does not bode well for QMJHL member teams.
The Armada’s ability to play or practice this month was in jeopardy prior to the team’s positive test, as new rules announced by the Quebec government on Monday barred team sports in COVID-19 “red zones” — areas of the province with surging case numbers, including the greater Montreal area and Quebec city.
These “red zones” can and will shift over time. Currently the red zones will effect the Quebec Remparts and the Armada, which are based in suburban Montreal.
With the OHL and WHL monitoring the QMJHL’s progress, there has to be concern moving forward for Major Junior Hockey across Canada at this point.