Edmonton Elks say no new COVID-19 cases identified, team releases vaccination rate

The Edmonton Elks said Friday that no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified from testing completed Thursday.

This leaves the total number of cases identified since the team returned from Vancouver last week at 14, unchanged from the team’s last update Thursday afternoon.

Read more: 2 more Edmonton Elks players positive for COVID-19, bringing total to 14 since B.C. game

The team also released information on the team’s vaccination rate, stating that 63 of the 79 Tier 1 members (players and coaches) — 79.7 per cent — are fully vaccinated. The Elks said three Tier 1 members — 3.8 per cent — are partially vaccinated.

In an update at noon Friday, the team said its isolation period has been extended from seven days to 10 days, based on direction from provincial health officials.

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The Elks said all Tier 1 players, coaches and staff will continue to receive daily PCR COVID-19 tests and remain in isolation through Aug. 31.

The team plans on returning to its facilities for in-person activities on Sept. 1.

Read more: Edmonton Elks game postponed after players test positive for COVID-19

The Elks said the names of the players who have tested positive for the disease will not be released. However, any players that remain in COVID protocols when the team resumes on-field activities will be identified in the team’s first injury report, as per Canadian Football League requirements.

In a media availability on Monday, the Elks announced nine players had tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement came one day after the CFL postponed Edmonton’s scheduled game Thursday night against the Toronto Argonauts. That game has not yet been rescheduled.

Click to play video: '11 Edmonton Elks players have now tested positive for COVID-19' 11 Edmonton Elks players have now tested positive for COVID-19

11 Edmonton Elks players have now tested positive for COVID-19

The league has set out an 85 per cent vaccination benchmark for teams.

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According to the CFL’s COVID policy, if a game is cancelled due to COVID-19 issues and it cannot be rescheduled, the club with the issues will forfeit the game.

If a team can prove that 85 per cent of its players under contract have been vaccinated, at least once and preferably fully, its players will receive their salary for the cancelled game. If the team falls below that 85 per cent threshold, the entire team will not receive its salary.

The CFL said the Lions — scheduled to play Ottawa on Saturday — would be closely monitored this week. So far, the team has not announced a positive case.

The Elks are scheduled to play the Stampeders in Calgary on Monday, Sept. 6.

Elks president and CEO Chris Presson is scheduled to hold a virtual media availability at 4 p.m. Friday.

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More to come…

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