The Germany National Junior Team will be required to remain in quarantine until Dec. 24, the day before the scheduled start of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, after eight players tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
The WJC is scheduled to be played at Rogers Place from Dec. 25 to Jan. 5, 2021. No fans will be in attendance for the games, and the teams are in a secure zone similar to the one used by the NHL during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.
Players and staff for the 10 teams arrived in Edmonton on Dec. 13 and were serving mandatory five-day quarantines that were scheduled to end Friday.
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The IIHF said that more than 2,000 tests have been administered since teams arrived, with 10 tests coming back positive, involving two teams, Germany and Sweden.
Sweden had two staff members test positive for COVID-19 and will remain in quarantine until Dec. 21, except for players and staff who are exempt from serving a longer quarantine period based on previous positive coronavirus tests that provide a personal immunity and no threat of infection to others.
Germany’s extended quarantine means pre-tournament games against Austria on Monday and the Czech Republic on Wednesday will not be played.
Sweden has pre-tournament games scheduled against Canada on Monday and Switzerland on Tuesday. The IIHF said a new pre-tournament schedule is being discussed.
The IIHF said the preliminary round will remain as scheduled.
Germany will play in Group A, starting against Finland on Dec. 25), followed by games against Canada (Dec. 26), Slovakia (Dec. 28) and Switzerland (Dec. 30).
Sweden will play in Group B, starting against the Czech Republic on Dec. 26), followed by games against Austria (Dec. 28), Russia (Dec. 30), and the United States (Dec. 31).
The top four teams in each group will play in the quarterfinals Jan. 2. The semifinals are Jan. 4, and the championship and third-place game is scheduled for Jan. 5. Games will be broadcast in the United States on NHL Network.
According to rules for the tournament, there must be at least eight teams to play the WJC, and teams must have at least 15 skaters and two goalies for each game.
The WJC Event Executive Committee said in a statement in part, “The Event Medical Team and Executive Committee will ensure that the affected individuals get the care they require. Our No. 1 priority is the health of the individuals and to ensure that we isolate these cases to keep the entire community and event safe.
“The medical plan was built with a quarantine period for participating teams before departure and upon arrival in Canada. We worked closely with Alberta Health Services and the Canadian government to build a plan that is endorsed by medical experts and supported by all levels of government and health.
“… All other teams will be released from the quarantine period once all test results have been confirmed. Among the tests conducted on game officials as well as IIHF, local organizing committee, and broadcasting staff there have been no confirmed positive cases reported.”