Nanaimo Clippers pause team activities due to COVID-19 test

The Nanaimo Clippers have halted all team activities due to a preliminary positive test for COVID-19. The Clippers’ scheduled B.C. Hockey League game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Thursday night was postponed.

The Clippers referred the media to the league for comment.

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A source told the Times Colonist a rapid test showed positive, but it needed to be confirmed and was sent to be analyzed by the gold-standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

“The Nanaimo Clippers have paused all team activities to allow for further analysis of a potential positive COVID-19 test result,” the BCHL said in a statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all team members will isolate until the results are confirmed.”

The league said it will provide an update “once further analysis has been completed.”

The Clippers are 4-2 in the pandemic-abbreviated BCHL season in which teams are playing 20 games each.

All the games in the Island Division are being played without fans at Weyerhaeuser Arena in the Port Alberni hub.

The Victoria Grizzlies lead the division at 5-2. The Bulldogs are 2-2-2 and the Cowichan Valley Capitals 2-4-1.

Heading into Thursday night, Stephen Castagna of Alberni Valley led the BCHL in scoring with 14 points on seven goals and seven assists. Ellis Rickwood of the Grizzlies, enhancing his stature for the 2021 NHL draft, led the league in goals with nine and was tied for second in points with 13 along with NCAA Div. 1 Clarkson University-committed Brandon Buhr of the Bulldogs.

The Grizzlies and Capitals meet tonight. The Grizzlies and Nanaimo are scheduled to play in a Saturday matinee, although that will depend on the Clippers’ COVID status, with the Bulldogs and Capitals to meet on Saturday night.

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