Loading articles...

B.C. health officials discuss plans for NHL in Vancouver on sixth straight day with no COVID-19 deaths

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Jun 12, 2020 at 7:25 am PDT

FILE - Vancouver Canucks' Elias Pettersson, of Sweden, skates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Vancouver, on Tuesday November 27, 2018. (Darryl Dyck / CP)

The province announced 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and no new deaths

Dr. Bonnie Henry discussed the possibility of Vancouver becoming an NHL hub city

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — As B.C. reported no new COVID-19 deaths for a sixth straight day, Dr. Bonnie Henry reported the NHL has provided a proposal to federal and provincial officials to resume play in hub cities.

The province’s top doctor addressed the return of the NHL during her daily briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHL has shortlisted Vancouver to be one of two possible hub city locations should it resume play.

“Like the premier and many others, I also think bringing hockey back to B.C. would be a very good thing,” she said. “But let me be very clear, there are no exceptions to the rules or the public health guidelines that are here in B.C. And no way will we compromise all the work that we have done, and the health of British Columbians, for the NHL or any other group.”

Henry said the NHL has provided a proposal for consideration by federal and provincial officials to resume play in late summer and into the fall. She has reviewed the proposal and said it exceeds current health and safety requirements.

The NHL proposes teams would stay in small pods of fewer than 50 people, called a “household bubble” — similar to arrangements for temporary foreign workers — and not just for 14 days, but the duration of their stay.

Henry said teams would also be subject to intense screening and testing, but the proposal does not include players’ families.

She said plans are being discussed should a player test positive for COVID-19 while in a bubble.

Henry also said she’s written a letter to Ottawa as the federal government would have to approve any plan regarding amendments to the quarantine act.

The province also announced 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, for a total of 2,694 cases in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.

To date, 2,344 people recovered — a rate of 87 per cent — while 167 have died.

Of the 183 active cases, 13 people remain in hospital, including five in intensive care.

The NHL announced plans Thursday to enter the third phase of its restart plan, targeting July 10 as the day training camps can open.