Sudbury Wolves have 12 players with COVID-19, all team activities suspended

The Sudbury Wolves are dealing with a major COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario Hockey League said Tuesday, forcing the team to suspend activities.

"All players affected are currently asymptomatic or exhibiting mild symptoms and the league and team will continue to monitor their well-being," the OHL said in a news release.

Wolves GM Rob Papineau said the issue emerged Sunday.

 “We had one player that had mild symptoms, he had a headache and we ran a rapid test on Sunday," Papineau said.

"It came back positive so we tested the whole team Sunday evening and there were a few other positive tests that came out of that. So we worked with the health unit and they were outstanding.”

Many players didn't have symptoms, while others only have mild cases.

"Some of the guys were shocked when they found out," Papineau said. "The vaccines that our players have had have obviously kept this thing tempered and the guys are in as good as spirits as they can be."

He said the league has been very supportive and has done a great job communicating with them, as have families billeting players.

“We will make sure that all of the billet families get tested, as well," Papineau said. "I think we have the best billet families in the entire Ontario Hockey League -- and maybe in the entire country -- and they really do care about our players and they treat them like their own sons."

The suspension follows the OHL's COVID-19 protocols, which include mandatory vaccination for all members of the OHL community including players, staff, officials and billets. 

"The OHL is working in consultation with the league’s independent chief medical officer, while the Wolves continue to follow the guidance of the Sudbury & District Health Unit," the release said.

As a result of the outbreak, several games have been postponed:

- Dec. 1 – Sudbury Wolves at Soo Greyhounds

- Dec. 3 – Barrie Colts at Sudbury Wolves

- Dec. 4 – Sudbury Wolves at Barrie Colts

"The OHL will not be identifying affected individuals, and will provide an update regarding future games along with the rescheduling of above matchups as information becomes available," the league said.

People who had tickets for the affected games can either exchange them when the games are rescheduled, or redeem them at the arena box office (open noon-4 p.m., Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday) for any other remaining regular home game based on available seating.

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