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

Just Posted

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Custom House construction site in Victoria

Government Street remains closed as investigation continues

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

First storm of the season expected to hit Vancouver Island tonight

Environment Canada has issued a storm warning with wind, and rain that could last into the weekend

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley seeks reelection

Routley has served as MLA for the area since 2005.

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

B.C. ELECTION: Island MLA Adam Olsen says NDP is sacrificing health for politics

Olsen acknowledges situation of a snap election is not ideal for BC Greens,

Babchuk nominated as NDP candidate

Seeks to replace outgoing MLA Claire Trevena

Most Read