Good news for the SJHL - a Melfort Mustangs player who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 has recovered from the disease. No other players or staff have tested positive.
The team and the SJHL announced the news Sept. 30, stating that the league and public health officials have given the Mustangs the thumbs-up to continue on with preseason preparations.
"The Melfort Mustangs are pleased to announced we have been approved to resume our training [and] hockey related activities," reads the team statement.
"All COVID-19 tests administered to members of the Mustangs this week have come back negative and there is no risk of... spread of the virus."
The league and team first announced a player had tested positive Sept. 25 and that the player had little contact with anyone else in the community. The team had not yet started official on-ice activity, including training camp. The player was advised to self-isolate, which according to the team, they did.
The player has not been identified by either the team or public health officials.
The Mustangs play in the Sherwood division, the same division as the Flin Flon Bombers. In a typical season, the Bombers and Mustangs would play each other six times. If the league splits into a pair of cohorts by north/south locations as has been suggested, the Bombers and Mustangs would almost certainly be in the same cohort.
The league is still holding discussions with public health groups about when the 2020/21 season might start. A spokesperson from the provincial health ministry told The Reminder earlier this month that talks are still continuing.
“The government of Saskatchewan has been having discussions with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League on how the league can safely return to play,” said the spokesperson.
“While players and fans are eager to see teams return to the ice, it’s important that they do so in a manner that takes their health and safety into consideration, as well as the health and safety of the communities in which they play.”