Western Hockey League reports COVID-19 case as B.C. Division bubble season begins

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Kelowna Rockets dressing room in Prospera Place arena. Kelowna and Kamloops were chosen as hub cities to host the WHL B.C. Division 2021 pandemic bubble season.  (Kelowna Rockets / twitter - image credit)
Kelowna Rockets dressing room in Prospera Place arena. Kelowna and Kamloops were chosen as hub cities to host the WHL B.C. Division 2021 pandemic bubble season. (Kelowna Rockets / twitter - image credit)

A member of the Kelowna Rockets cohort has tested positive for COVID-19 as five B.C. teams prepare to begin the Western Hockey League's long-delayed pandemic bubble season.

The positive case was discovered during the "initial return to play testing phase," the WHL said in a statement.

"The individual who has tested positive will be required to isolate away from the team cohort and follow directions from the regional public health authority."

The league did not identify the person who tested positive but said they are a member of the Kelowna Rockets team cohort.

A second member of the team cohort who was in close contact is also being asked to isolate.

No other teams are believed to have been exposed, the WHL said, and no regular season games involving the Kelowna Rockets need to be rescheduled.

"Other members of the team cohort are permitted to continue on the original timeline associated with their return to play," the WHL said in a statement.

B.C.'s five WHL teams are gathering to play a delayed 24-game season in two hub cities: Kelowna and Kamloops.

Training camps and on-ice practice begins Friday. The first games are scheduled for March 26.

The WHL says the positive test will not change those plans.