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Photo Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks confirm COVID-19 variant, outbreak started by community transmission

The Vancouver Canucks say 25 members of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19 and that the source of the infection is confirmed to be a variant of the virus.

According to the team, genome sequencing will be conducted by the BC Centre for Disease Control to determine which specific type. The team also confirmed the spread began with community transmission.

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“An ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and club contact tracing staff attributes the source infection to a single individual obtained in a community setting, which has since been identified by public health as a public exposure location,” the Canucks said in a statement. “Rapid spread of infection throughout the team indicates a link between contacts and the primary case.

“The health and safety of players, staff, families and the greater community remains the utmost priority. The Canucks are grateful for the continued support of local public health officials, the NHL and NHLPA and encourage everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following health orders. COVID-19 infections are rising in BC. This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes.”

The virus first hit the team last week when forward Adam Gaudette was the first to test positive. Since then, as mentioned above, it’s spread to 25 members of the organization.

This article will be updated Wednesday as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: 2:20 P.M. PST

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Nate Schmidt has been identified as the latest player to be added to the COVID-19 protocol list.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]