Saturday, 6 June 2020

Hub City In Peril?

There has been some solid posturing from Jason Kenney, the Alberta Premier, who demanded that Ottawa lift travel restrictions to help the city of Edmonton woo the NHL to Rogers Place as the NHL's western hub city. The boast about Edmonton being one of the safer cities with respect to COVID-19 numbers seemed a little preposterous at the time, but the re-opening of the city's economic scene seems to have invited the coronavirus back to the city as the numbers shown today in Edmonton seem to indicate that they had flattened the curve enough when it came to ensuring the health of its citizens.

According to reports today out of the Alberta capital, there were 20 new cases of coronavirus found through testing, bringing the total number of cases in Edmonton to 76. Yes, that number is still low comparably to other centers across Canada, but the addition of nearly 40% of the total cases seen yesterday is a wee bit concerning.
The NHL hasn't made a statement one way or another, but I assume they're still watching the numbers in all the western cities they've identified as potential hub cities which seemingly includes both Vancouver and Las Vegas as well.

What does this mean for Edmonton? Well, seeing the numbers go up won't be good for them if they hope to host the NHL's return to action. Consecutive days of seeing the numbers go up obviously would be worse, and we might be talking about shutting things down again if the city can't slow the spread of the virus once more.

The next few days will be important for the city of Edmonton. If the new cases slow to a stop once again, there's still a chance that Rogers Place could host NHL games. From a public safety standpoint, one would want to see that happen so the citizens of Edmonton remain safe without a second wave of COVID-19 hitting the city. Forget about the NHL - just ensuring that Edmontonians remain healthy becomes the focus once more.

Personally, I couldn't care less whether the NHL goes to Edmonton as long as the citizens of Edmonton remain safe. Adding 20 new cases after watching the number fall over recent weeks isn't a good sign, but it might be a reminder that we might be lulled into a false sense of safety when we do see the numbers plateau or fall. Jumping from 56 to 76 cases in one day should remind us all that we still need to be vigilant.

Edmonton has work to do now. Their NHL dreams may just have been dashed by a resurgence in cases thanks to a rush to re-open. Be smart, stay home if you don't need to be out, and be safe.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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