More than 90 people have reported being affected by the norovirus outbreak at the Rick Lapointe Memorial hockey tournament in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

More than 90 people affected by norovirus-like outbreak at Greater Victoria hockey tournament

Parents say communication was lacking

More than 90 people reported being affected by the norovirus outbreak at the Rick Lapointe Memorial hockey tournament in Greater Victoria.

The Bantam hockey showcase saw teams of players between the ages of 13 and 15 come from across B.C. to compete at arenas on the South Island from Dec. 5 to 8. On Friday evening, players began to show symptoms of norovirus and many teams forfeited over the weekend as more players became ill.

By Tuesday afternoon four of the sixteen teams that attended had shared the number of cases of their team with other coaches, noted Matt Plotnikoff, manager for the North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s A2 team. On the four teams, more than 90 athletes and family members were affected – more than 30 from Plotnikoff’s A2 team alone. He said the Nanaimo and Hollyburn teams were also hit hard.

Wendy Bach’s son, a Hollyburn Huskies player, was one of the first to fall ill on Friday. She was surprised how quickly the virus spread through the teams.

The host team, the Victoria Racquet Club, dropped out on Friday evening and tournament organizers sent out a note on Saturday morning advising sick athletes to stay away from the arena, Bach said. Those still playing were told to use the hand sanitizer.

READ ALSO: ‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

As other players on her son’s team began showing symptoms on Saturday morning, the coach decided to pull out of the tournament and parents supported the decision. The Huskies went home to West Vancouver on the ferry and Bach noted that while she and her son stayed in the car to avoid transmitting the virus as recommended by Island Health, other players were spotted running around the ferry.

Bach wasn’t surprised when she began showing symptoms on Sunday morning and noted that other parents fell ill as the weekend progressed – “it was a domino effect,” she said. Bach noted that one spectator was taken to hospital over the weekend and that a player with diabetes also became ill during the tournament.

Bach felt Island Health didn’t communicate enough. She said Island Health sent teams a “generic note” explaining that all precautions were taken and that an investigation is underway to find the source of the outbreak, but she felt more should have been done.

The remaining games should have been canceled and communication should have been better, Bach said. She felt that not pausing games to investigate was irresponsible.

READ ALSO: Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Plotnikoff agreed, noting that while the tournament organizers “did the best they could,” Island Health didn’t communicate with the individual teams. When he reached out to Island Health, a representative said that the test results hadn’t come back to confirm the outbreak was in fact norovirus and that an investigation was still underway.

On Tuesday, an Island Health spokesperson explained that that the exact number of people affected was not reported to Island Health and that no one was available for an interview regarding the outbreak.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Volunteers sought to remove weeds from Port Renfrew’s Parkinson Road

Road has no sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on pavement

Langford residents concerns rise over proposal for two 11-storey buildings

Group calls for more green space, independent traffic feasiblity study

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read