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Elks Closing In On 85% Vaccination Rate Benchmark

As of Thursday, 14 members of the Edmonton Elks have tested positive for Covid-19, causing their game against the Toronto Argonauts to be postponed to a currently undecided date. They have not publically identified the team members who tested positive and will only do so if they remain in Covid protocols when the rest of the team returns to on-field activities. Players that remain in Covid protocols once the team returns to on-field activities will be listed on the team’s injury report.

Friday was the first day this week that the Elks did not have any new Covid cases, and as a result, the 7 day isolation period set in place by provincial health officials has been extended to 10 days. During that time, all tier 1 players, coaches, and staff will continue to receive PCR testing daily. If the team remains without any new positive tests, they’ll be allowed to end isolation on Tuesday, August 31st, and return to the team’s facility on Wednesday, September 1st.

While the Elks are the only CFL team to have received positive Covid tests, we learned on Monday that they actually have the 3rd lowest vaccination rate in the league. There are 79 tier 1 players and coaches on the Elks, 63 of which have been fully vaccinated and 3 more having received their 1st dose. This gets Edmonton to 83.5% total vaccination, getting them very close to the league’s target of 85%. This benchmark comes with a new policy introduced at the beginning of August, penalizing teams with low vaccination rates. If a game is canceled due to an outbreak of Covid-19, any team less than 85% vaccinated will not be paid for that game. If the 85% mark is hit/passed, players can still receive payment if the game is canceled.

Elks President Chris Presson stated on Friday that they have yet to discuss the possibility of releasing players who refuse to get the vaccination and that they will have that discussion within the organization if they get to a point where he believes it is necessary.

Edmonton is currently scheduled to play their next game versus the Calgary Stampeders on Monday, September 6th at 1:30 pm MST (Labour Day).

Matt Lyons is a Writer/Contributor for XFL News Hub, USFL News Hub, & CFL News Hub, covering the XFL, USFL, ELF, and TSL since August of 2020.

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