COVID-19 outbreak hits Mount Royal University men's hockey team

The U Sports logo at the U Sports Final 8 Championships in Ottawa, on Friday, March 6, 2020. (Justin Tang/CP)

CALGARY -- Eighteen members of Mount Royal University's men's hockey program, including coaches, have tested positive for COVID-19.

"The team ceased training when the first individual experienced symptoms and members are self-isolating," the Calgary university said Monday in a statement.

"MRU did contact tracing and notified impacted individuals."

The Cougars were scheduled to play the Canadian junior men's team in exhibition games Saturday and Sunday in Red Deer, Alta., but those games were already called off because three members of the Canadian team had tested positive.

The Canadian team is in quarantine until Dec. 6.

MRU plays in the Canada West conference of U Sports.

Canada West cancelled all conference games and championships in team sports for the 2020-21 season because of the pandemic, but some schools have been running practices and team training.

University sport was initially exempt from Alberta's ban on team sport earlier this month, but got shut down Nov. 24 when Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency.

"Cougars teams were training under multiple safety protocols beyond those required by the provincial government," MRU said in the statement.

"With new government restrictions, no varsity programs will be training until after the new year."

The University of Calgary women's basketball team also had an outbreak earlier this month.

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