Shortly before the Victoria Royals’ first WHL game in more than a year, their opening night opponents have had a COVID-19 positive test.
The Western Hockey League announced Thursday a positive case has been identified within the Kelowna Rockets’ team cohort.
The WHL has announced a positive test for COVID-19 within the Kelowna Rockets team cohort.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 19, 2021
In a statement, the league says the positive test result was discovered during the initial return-to-play testing phase.
The individual who has tested positive is required to isolate away from the team cohort and follow directions from the regional public health authority.
Another member of the Rockets’ cohort is considered a close contact and has also entered into self-isolation and will follow the regional public health guidelines.
The WHL is not releasing the identity of the individuals.
The league says since the positive test result was discovered during the initial return-to-play testing phase, other members of the team cohort are allowed to continue on the original timeline associated with their return-to-play.
No games involving the Rockets are required to be rescheduled.
The Rockets and Royals will face-off in one of the BC Division openers on March 26 in Kelowna, which is the hub home for both clubs.
Kamloops is playing host to the other BC Division teams, which are the Blazers, Prince George Cougars and Vancouver Giants.
The Royals have not played a WHL regular-season game since they defeated the Rockets 3-2 on March 11, 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the WHL to suspend the remainder of its regular season and 2020 playoffs.