The Edmonton Elks issued the following statement on Monday afternoon regarding Sunday’s news that five players had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Edmonton Elks would like to thank the Canadian Football League for their continued support, as we collectively work through the challenges presented by multiple Elks players testing positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. We continue to work with the CFL on rescheduling options for our game against the Toronto Argonauts.
While finding a new date for our game in Toronto is important, it comes secondary to the health and safety of our players, coaches, and staff. Our Elks medical staff is working diligently in collaboration with the CFL’s Chief Medical Officers and public health officials to ensure we are taking all the steps necessary to ensure our collective health. Enhanced testing is ongoing to make sure our team is healthy and we can return to play when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are preparing virtually for our next game.
We continue to have conversations internally on how we can make improvements in mitigating our risk moving forward. We are committed to taking every step necessary in this regard, which will ultimately allow us to make Edmonton and our fans proud on the field.
Any individual that tests positive is prevented from joining or is removed from team activities, and is isolated or quarantined, in accordance with the CFL’s return to play health and safety protocol, Public Health Agency of Canada protocol and local public health protocol.
The CFL has introduced a policy that will apply to any game cancellations caused by COVID-19 issues. According to the policy, if a game cannot be played as scheduled because of coronavirus issues, and it cannot be rescheduled:
- And one club is suffering from the COVID-19 issues, that club will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss while its’ opponent will be credited with a win by a score of 1-0.
- And both clubs are suffering from the COVID-19 issues, then both clubs will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss.
In both of these circumstances, if a team can prove that 85 per cent of its’ players under contract have been vaccinated, at least once and preferably fully, its players will receive their salary for the cancelled game. If the team falls below that 85 per cent threshold, the entire team will not receive its salary.
The league’s cancellation policy further states a game will be cancelled if any of the following conditions are met:
- Its’ playing is precluded by a decision by a government health authority.
- A team does not have 36 players to dress for the game;
- A team does not have an individual available to coach the offence and another individual to coach the defence;
- A team does not have a certified athletic therapist and sports medicine physician available for the game.
In addition, commissioner Randy Ambrosie can cancel a game at his discretion following consultation with the CFL’s chief medical officers and the CFL Players’ Association.