A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at an annual interregional sports tournament in Oshawa that drew thousands of people after 20 people so far have tested positive for the virus.
A statement issued by Durham Region Health Department on Tuesday said the cases were linked to the Jane and Finch Classic basketball tournament held between Aug. 3 and 8 at the Playground Global facility on Boundary Road.
Officials said up to 7,000 people may have been in attendance throughout the duration of the tournament, adding they’re having trouble contacting everyone who attended the event.
In a statement by Toronto Public Health, staff said three cases from the event are linked to Toronto and that they are in contact with those who tested positive.
Other cases from the event are linked to people who live in Quebec as well as Peel and Durham regions.
Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region’s medical officer of health, told Global News in an interview that he is disappointed with the lack of compliance on capacity limits.
“We need to mask indoors. We need to respect gathering limits and none of that seemed to have happened,” he said.
Clayton Thomas, the organizer of the tournament, told Global News he was “shocked” when he first heard about the cases, adding they followed COVID-19 protocols and kept contact information.
“We followed all the covid procedures, masked, being sanitized. Our numbers were pretty low. We followed the 50 per cent capacity numbers,” he said.
“You don’t know who is vaccinated, who is not vaccinated, you don’t know who is symptomatic.”
Thomas went on to say they he has tested negative for COVID-19 three times, but like public health officials, encouraged anyone who didn’t get tested to do so.
— With files from Frazer Snowdon
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.