The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) announced Friday that is it cancelling the rest of the 2020-21 season due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in the region.
According to a news release, the GTHL's board made the decision after "conducting an evaluation of the current situation in Toronto, Peel and York Regions and consulting with health experts from Toronto Public Health."
Ontario reported another 2,169 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as a government agency that tracks hospitalizations said admissions to intensive care have climbed to 401 after weeks of an uneven but steady rise. Toronto, Peel and York regions routinely lead the province in new cases each day. Toronto and Peel remain in the lockdown zone of the province's reopening framework.
"This was a very difficult decision for the GTHL Board of Directors to make," said GTHL executive director and chief operating officer Scott Oakman, in a statement.
"We had been hopeful that if the infection rates subsided and areas returned to the Orange level, we could offer some programming. We now turn our focus to planning for the 2021-22 season and are excited by getting programs started in the fall."
The board said in its statement that it remains optimistic about vaccine rollouts in the region, which provides hope for the 2021-2022 season.
While planning for next season, the league says it will consult with experts from Toronto Public Health and the Hospital for Sick Children.