Right as the sports world seemed to be back to normal, the past few weeks have changed the outlook once again. Countless COVID-19 cases, postponements, and cancellations have left sports fans feeling like we are back in March of 2020. Everything seems unsure, and rules seem like they will continue to change. The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is affecting everyone, and here is how it is affecting Ontario sports.
The Senators have recently had one game postponed, supposed to be on Dec. 19 against the Bruins. This is after already having an outbreak in November, which caused them to call up more than 10 AHL players and eventually have three further games postponed. With countless other games around the league being cancelled, this does not seem like the last Sens game that will be moved this year.
The NHL announced Dec. 19, that all cross-border games are to be postponed until after Christmas which means the Senators are officially off until after the holidays now.
Rules around sporting events are beginning to also be changed in Ontario in response to the new spike in cases. Capacities have already been reduced to 50% for indoor events, affecting the Raptors, Leafs and Sens. Concessions have also been closed to all fans in these arenas, to try and stop what is a very contagious variant of COVID.
The protocols may need to change moving forward as much of society thinks we need to “live with COVID-19”. The NFL is now allowing vaccinated asymptomatic players to play and practice as normal. This is a big step many leagues may need to take in order to stop these long pauses or postponements. As the government continues to change restrictions with new data, we may have seen the last of normal, full capacity sporting events for a while.