Case of COVID-19 at the Armada: the Phoenix suspends its activities
After only two games, the Phoenix must suspend its activities.
Share October 5, 2020 5:02 p.m. Updated at 11:36 p.m. Share COVID-19 case in the Armada: the Phoenix suspends its activities
Jérôme Gaudreau La Tribune SHERBROOKE – For having faced a player suffering from COVID-19 on Friday during the arrival of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, the Sherbrooke Phoenix must suspend its activities for an indefinite period. The players and hockey staff have been placed in isolation and will be tested shortly.
A first positive test for COVID-19 was recorded in the QMJHL. He is a player from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada organization, which is also suspending its activities. Public Health is currently completing its investigation.
Withdrawn from the roster on Sunday “for preventive reasons” according to the Armada, Blake Richardson and Thomas Lacombe played Friday's game against the Phoenix in Sherbrooke during the inaugural game presented behind closed doors at the Palais des sports.
“The length of the break from the activities of the Phoenix will depend on the investigation by Public Health,” said Maxime Blouin, director of communications for the QMJHL.
All public health findings will be shared with the teams and the circuit.
The Phœnix must in principle face the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in Sherbrooke on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
A “worrying” situation
A few hours before the announcement of the QMJHL, the Quebec government had already announced the cessation of activities for team sports in the red zones until October 28, which prevented the Armada de Blainville-Boisbriand and the Remparts from Quebec to play their games in October.
Already, two teams saw their season being put on hiatus.
“We are a case of COVID-19 to suspend our activities”, then commented the head coach and general manager of the Phoenix, Stéphane Julien.
And what had to happen happened. The Phoenix has been added to the list of teams who must give up everything for the moment of a few days. Or a few weeks.
” It's fragile. It's a big challenge. We have to constantly remind the players to keep paying attention to the measurements. Regarding the mask, going out to restaurants or their girlfriend for example. Even those around them must be careful. And me too, even more so, when I think of my daughter and her immune system, ”says Stéphane Julien, referring to his child's fight against leukemia.
During the interview, Stéphane Julien did not yet know that the QMJHL was preparing to announce the cessation of his team's activities for an indefinite period: “The situation is worrying when we look at the cases of COVID-19 and the red zones . Two teams must already suspend their activities. While all the other clubs are playing their matches, the Armada and the Remparts will be on hiatus. The coaches and players have worked hard during several weeks of camp to be ready for the start of the season and they finally have to stop everything after just one weekend. It will be a disadvantage for these teams when it comes time to come back to the game. ”
Europeans are moving away
Friday during the press conference of Commissioner Gilles Courteau, the QMJHL boasted of not counting any case of COVID-19 within its 18 teams. What was to convince the government to allow the teams of the red zones to play their matches. And also, to encourage the arrival of foreign players, who have remained in their country, unable to cross borders.
“The latest news does not help the record of European or American players,” said Stéphane Julien.