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Safety top priority for health officials if Edmonton becomes a hub city, testing won’t be affected

Last Updated Jul 3, 2020 at 7:29 am MDT

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — There has been no official confirmation by the NHL if they’ve chosen Edmonton as one of the hub cities to host the remainder of the hockey season, however, Alberta health officials are getting ready for when a decision is made.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw knows many people are thinking about hockey right now, and how it will be possible to host it in Edmonton without jeopardizing public health safety.

RELATED: Toronto, Edmonton expected to be announced as NHL hub cities

She reassured that guidelines had been created back in spring for professional sporting tournaments to support safety for players and minimize any risk of spreading COVID-19 to the general public.

“The approach relies on extensive privately purchased testing, and the NHL players and anyone else involved in the tournament forming a cohort that is separate from the public,” Hinshaw said.

“Cohorting among the participants will reduce the risk of disease spread if a case is identified.”

Health officials plan to work closely with all parties to make sure the guidelines are followed.

Hinshaw also made it clear that current testing measures would not be impacted if the NHL picks Edmonton.

“The free testing being offered to all Albertans will always remain our top priority,” she said.

Hinshaw didn’t have any news on whether Edmonton had been officially chosen.