With the current surge of COVID-19 in the province and dominant variant of OMICRON making its presence felt across British Columbia, the topic of what may come of the All Native Basketball Tournament in February is currently making for a hot debate topic on the ANBT Facebook page.
The Social Media stream providing for a range of opinions on the recent COVID situation that mirrors much of what we're finding from community to community across the Northwest.
With participants in the conversation expressing a range of thoughts, from calls to hold firm on the course to move ahead with the tournament, to others calling for a cancellation or pause, expressing concerns for the health of their communities.
So far, the official word is stay the course, while awaiting the path of the current situation, that as of earlier this week from a reply to a question from one forum participant.
It's a tough position for tournament organizers to be in once again, having cancelled the 2021 edition of the ANBT because of the surge of COVID last year, now as we enter 2022 it seems that we're getting an instant replay of those days, though with a much faster pace when it comes to infection rates, case counts and those that have come in contact with the coronavirus.
While Tournament organizers have put a lot of effort towards this years event and may be hoping to ride out this latest of COVID storms, they are already facing some challenging measures already in place for such events.
Included on the list is a limit on capacity at the City of Prince Rupert venues and other health measures and public health orders that could have an impact on some of the social aspects from the past for the tournament.
Also of note is the call from some communities for their teams to take a pass on this years tournament, that in order to protect those living in their own communities and reduce the prospect of any wider exposure to the COVID-19 virus and this latest variant of OMICRON.
As we noted yesterday, the Metlakatla First Nation has already closed off their community as part of their latest COVID related community measures.
They most likely won't be the only community to take such measures in the next few weeks and that more than anything else, may in the end make for any final decisions on the fate for the 2022 edition of the popular tournament and community gathering.
As it stands today, the tournament is still set for tip off on February 13th with a closing date of February 19th.
You can review the ongoing discussion from the ANBT Social media stream here.
Notes on the planning for the tournament to this point can be explored from our archive page.