The number of COVID-19 cases among Edmonton Elks players has decreased by one, after further testing deemed a player’s initial positive test to be a false positive, the team said Sunday.
Fourteen Elks players reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 since returning from an away game in Vancouver last week.
On Sunday, that total dropped to 13 when subsequent testing found a player’s initial positive test result was a false positive, a news release said.
The statement went on to explain, the Elks player was tested on Aug. 24. His test came back positive, but the result was within a range that required further testing to confirm the positive test value.
Three subsequent PCR test results all came back negative, so the player’s result was deemed a false positive, it said.
The CFL announced a week ago that a game between the Elks and Toronto Argonauts, originally scheduled for Aug. 26, would be postponed, after learning “a number” of Elks players had tested positive for COVID-19.
Per league protocols, the team battling COVID-19 will forfeit a game if it is postponed and can’t be rescheduled.
The players can still receive their salary, however, if the team can prove that at least 85 per cent of its players under contract have received at least one dose of vaccine.
If the team fails to meet the 85 per cent threshold, the entire team loses their pay.
The team revealed Friday that 83.5 per cent of its players and coaches have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Elks president and CEO Chris Presson told reporters Friday that he is having discussions about rescheduling the Elks-Argos game. He expected to receive more information Friday that would allow for further talks this weekend, he said.
The Elks have recorded three straight days without any new COVID-19 cases, the team said Sunday. But daily PCR testing will continue for all Tier 1 personnel — players, coaches and support staff — through the remainder of the isolation period.
Assuming no new cases are found, the Elks will return to in-person activities on Sept. 1 to prepare for the annual Labour Day Classic versus the Calgary Stampeders, in Calgary, on Sept. 6.