The Vancouver Canucks’ COVID-19 outbreak continues to worsen as more than 20 players and coaches have now tested positive for the virus, according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Sunday's latest news comes on the heels of a report from TSN's Pierre LeBrun, who said the NHL had been operating under the expectation that all members of the team will test positive in the coming days.
The Canucks' outbreak is reportedly being heavily affected by the P.1 variant of COVID-19 that was first identified in Brazil, which represents new terrain for the NHL in its fight against the disease, LeBrun notes. On Sunday, Dreger said the outbreak had extended to family and that symptoms include vomiting, cramping and dehydration.
Earlier this week it was announced that Vancouver would have games postponed through Apr. 6 as two players and a member of the coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19. With the outbreak worsening, it can certainly be expected that the team will be sidelined longer than the initial timeline. LeBrun says that the NHL will likely have to schedule games beyond the current season end-date of May 11. This extension to the North Division’s schedule, however, doesn’t mean the playoff dates currently set for other divisions will be altered.
Vancouver will need to have multiple days of negative tests and the recovery of its players will be taken into consideration before the team can return to action, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet stated on Saturday’s Headlines.
The NHL has also sent a stern memo to all of its teams as a reminder to remain vigilant in following COVID-19 protocols, LeBrun reports.