More details are beginning to emerge after high-level Barrie hockey players were placed in self-isolation due to several positive COVID-19 tests.
Barrie 'AAA' Zone chairman Hugh Campbell has confirmed to BarrieToday that eight players have tested positive for the virus and 18 are in self-isolation.
On Tuesday’s health unit call with local reporters, the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Charles Gardner, confirmed the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit was investigating what they call a 'community outbreak' involving a youth hockey team in Barrie.
A statement from Campbell on the organization’s website said there were two teams — minor midget, who are under 16 years old, and midget, who are under 18 — that were directly affected by the positive tests.
“I don’t want to go into further details other than to report that the family involved contacted us immediately and we were then able to immediately take the proper steps required to mitigate this,” Campbell said. “It has resulted in our minor-midget players having to self-isolate for 14 days.”
Campbell added he doesn’t believe there was anything that could have been done to prevent the situation.
"However, it does highlight the risk out there and the requirement to take all precautions available," he said.
On Tuesday's health unit call, Gardner said it was the first time the region has seen spread of this nature, though there have been COVID cases linked to hockey teams in Toronto.
In his statement, Campbell also spoke about playing within the organization’s bubble.
“I realize players are involved in other hockey training and perhaps other sports activities and we can’t restrict you from only playing within the Barrie 'AAA' Zone program. However, if you choose to engage in other sport-related activities with players outside of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, you will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days and not participate in Barrie 'AAA' Zone programs during that period," he said.
Campbell said there may be minor exceptions to that rule, which should be brought to the team manager.
“As we have now moved to an orange level of risk in our area, we are only one step away from ceasing operations and it is imperative that we all make responsible choices,” said Campbell.