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 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

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read