CANMORE – Cross-country skiers from Quebec are among those connected to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Nordic ski community in Canmore.
This week, notifications were sent to high-level athletes, national organizations and clubs about positive coronavirus cases “within the Canmore regional training environment.”
“There are 11 cases tied to this outbreak – all are active,” said Zoë Cooper, communications director with Alberta Health, in an email.
Cooper said it was added to the province's “outbreak locations by zone” list under sports cohorts in the Calgary zone.
The Outlook confirmed members from Quebec-based Centre National d'Entraînement Pierre-Harvey training in Canmore are among those quarantined after the positive test results.
"We have worked diligently with health authorities in Alberta and have put in place the necessary measures to assist the people involved in this occurrence," said Claude Alexandre Carpentier, executive director of Ski De Fond Québec in an email. "I must reiterate our will to keep a safe environment for our athletes, coaches, support staff and the community. We have taken action and the situation is under control."
Nordiq Canada, the governing body for cross-country and Para Nordic skiing, said it is assisting effected individuals and those who have come in close contact with them.
“These individuals are in quarantine and following all of the required protocols in place to protect themselves and the community at large,” said Nordiq Canada communications advisor Chris Dornan in an email.
“Contact tracing has also been initiated and those who have deemed to have been in close contact have been notified of their risk of exposure. These individuals have also been advised of steps that need to be taken.”
Additional details such as how many people are quaratined due to being in close contact with the positive cases weren't provided.
Dornan added the health and safety of athletes, teams, staff and communities is always Nordiq Canada's first priority.
The cross-country ski track, Frozen Thunder at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park serves as a regional hub for local and out-of-province Nordic ski athletes and personnel.
The two-kilometre loop is also a pre-season training ground for Biathlon Canada, and skiing destination for the general public.
“Biathlon Canada was made aware of a positive COVID-19 test within the Canmore regional training environment by Nordiq Canada,” said Heather Ambery, general manager of Biathlon Canada in an email.
“As per our established protocols, all athletes and staff within the senior national team were notified of the positive case and have been in touch with our team doctor to identify if there were any close contacts.”