Miller, Benn forced to miss Canucks' opening week due to COVID-19 tests

1 week ago  /  The Province Hockey
Miller, Benn forced to miss Canucks' opening week due to COVID-19 tests

<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Jordie Benn and J.T. Miller now face a lot of anxious waiting — and hoping they don’t develop any symptoms of COVID-19, a disease that has left some healthy young people with some devastating outcomes, including badly scarred lungs and cardiac issues. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The NHL confirmed Wednesday afternoon the two Vancouver Canucks were among 22 players across the league who are unavailable to play because of COVID-19 protocols. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> In the case of the two Canucks, they have been ruled out of action for a week or more after a series of COVID-19 tests led to Benn being diagnosed as a presumptive positive. And Miller, who has been staying at Benn’s home in recent days, is a close contact, having been within two metres of Benn for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period that preceded Benn’s positive test. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The Canucks scrimmaged at Rogers Arena on Saturday night and practised on Friday, but the set up of the scrimmage, practice and off-ice activities over those two days apparently kept any other player from being classified as a close contact. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Wednesday, before the team’s season opener against the Oilers in Edmonton, Canucks captain Bo Horvat said the news about Miller was yet another wake-up call about how serious the risk of infection is and how stringent the rules governing their behaviours are. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> “You can’t be naive, you have to be extra careful,” he said. “Wear your mask everywhere. … You have to follow the protocols because nobody is invincible.” <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Since the beginning of training camp, the Canucks players have been tested daily, using the standard PCR nose-swab test. (They’ll continue to be tested daily during the season.) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> haha, fair :) How about this? I imagine they've calculated that Benn, if actually sick, is somewhere around where low-analytic sensitivity starts to become more accurate for +'ve cases. Miller is ~3+ days backFrom: https://t.co/maGXxCuCpt (I have not read, just stole image) pic.twitter.com/qRr7xsW6P2— Rob DuMont (@rdumont99) January 13, 2021<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Benn tested positive Sunday morning but a confirmatory test later that day came back negative. That still put him into an isolation protocol, which calls for further tests. He tested negative Monday — which is why the Canucks reported him as a false positive initially — but positive Tuesday. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Under NHL rules, if you test positive in one of the two days after the initial false-positive, you become a presumed positive. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Benn’s now being treated as such. There’s a good chance, given the science we now understand about how the virus progresses, that Benn was very early in his infection on Sunday when he was first isolated for the initial confirmatory test and is only just now in his most-infectious period. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, explained how false-positives happen with the PCR test. None of the tests available are 100 per cent accurate, she explained, even the PCR test, which she noted is considered the gold-standard test. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> “Depending on which lab does it and how well the swab is taken, the sensitivity, the detecting somebody who truly has the virus, can be as high as 98 per cent, but it’s not 100 per cent and nor is the specificity. Yes, we’ve had false positives, especially when the rate is low and the pretest probability is low, and we’ve been dealing with that all along,” she said. “It’s innate in what we do and why it’s so important that we have the clinical context around that situation. Was there an exposure? Was there symptoms? Those are all things that are important and yes, we more likely expect to have false positives in asymptomatic people with no risk factor.” <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> If Benn shows symptoms — which will most likely appear in the next few days — then he can’t cleared to return to play by team doctors until at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared, under both the NHL’s and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s CDC’s protocols. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> If he goes symptom-free until next Wednesday, under the NHL’s protocols he can be cleared by doctors, though it’s not automatic. The B.C. CDC’s protocols call for a full 14-day isolation period after a positive test and in general, the NHL defers to local public health rules. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> There is some murkiness here, as public tests aren’t generally available for people who aren’t symptomatic and it seems Benn didn’t have any symptoms and thus wouldn’t have been tested if he weren’t involved with the NHL’s private testing program. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Most people develop symptoms five to seven days after they’re first infected. If you don’t show symptoms by 10 days post-positive test, the science tells us you’re almost certainly in the clear. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> If you’re symptom-free 14 days after your positive test, then you’re in the clear. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> As for Miller, under B.C. public health rules, as a close contact he has to self-isolate for at least 14 days after his last contact with Benn, which was Sunday. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Now, because he’s being tested daily, one supposes it’s possible he might be deemed clear before the 14 days are up, but that will require a ruling from provincial public health authorities. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Interestingly, authorities in other countries have reduced the isolation period for close contacts who continue to return negative tests and remain asymptomatic: <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> according to the British Medical Journal<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> , the U.S. CDC has said such contacts can be cleared as soon as a week after contact with an infected person while Public Health England last month revised their quarantine rules for close contacts who test negative down to a 10-day period. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, two members of the Edmonton hockey media pool returned positive COVID-19 tests, prompting a number of other reporters to be told they’re close contacts and that they should also self-isolate for 14 days. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> pjohnston@postmedia.com <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> twitter.com/risingaction <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> CLICK HERE to report a typo. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com ...

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