Norovirus-like outbreak at Rick Lapointe Tournament

Norovirus-like outbreak at Rick Lapointe Tournament
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Island Health says the Annual Rick Lapointe Tournament has seen a norovirus-like outbreak..

Players at the 47th Annual Rick Lapointe Tournament Memorial hockey tournament have come down with a norovirus-like outbreak.

In an official statement, Island Health says that the tournament started on Thursday and the health organization became aware of the outbreak on Friday evening.

There are no official numbers on the players affected, but tournament organizers are monitoring the health of all players and ill players are not participating.

Sukkie Sandhu, the Tournament Coordinator, says that the tournament continued as scheduled, although two teams had to forfeit due to a shortage of players, including host team Victoria Racquet Club Kings.

All other 12 teams were able to continue with their scheduled games.

The tournament will conclude Sunday afternoon with a closing ceremony at the Ian Stewart Complex with Rhonda Lapointe, widow of local hockey legend Rick Lapointe, for whom the tournament is named.

“It’s really important to us that Rhonda Lapointe continues this tradition to us,” said Sandhu. “Because of our wish to honour Rick Lapointe’s dedication to hockey, the inspiration that he provided to many kids on the island.”

Sandhu says that tournament officials worked closely with Island Health to ensure the safety of players and to conclude the tournament as scheduled.

Additional hygiene measures have been implemented to decrease the risk of spreading the illness, and players returning home to the Lower Mainland have been asked to stay in their vehicles while on ferries to limit virus transmission.

Island Health says that enhanced sanitizing efforts are continuing but the organization thinks the arena at UVic would be most impacted by the outbreak.

HealthLinkBC says that symptoms of Norovirus include an upset stomach, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Other symptoms include nausea, cramping, chills and fever.

Some measures that can be taken to limit the spread of the virus include sanitation of shared bathroom surfaces such as countertops or sink taps and proper handwashing.

Tim FordTim Ford

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