BC Athletics Update - Coronavirus (COVID 19) - #1
At this time Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health Officer says gatherings of more than 250 people should be cancelled and she is recommending against all travel outside of Canada which extends to the U.S. and that anyone who chooses to leave the country must stay home from work or school for 14 days. All of these precautions are to prevent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID 19).
For event organizers, club training sessions and club events it is advisable to undertake a Risk Assessment and keep up to date on any advisories as may be issued by any of the agencies linked below and to take the necessary actions to limit the spread of the virus.
While the spread of COVID 19 in BC is at this time limited, it can change quickly and there is always the possibly of it spreading – so be vigilant and up to date on the current status of advisories.
Note: with more cases in the state of Washington, along with others in Oregon and California – there is always an increased risk of infection and spread because of proximity and frequent travel to those 3 states by athletes, coaches and parents from British Columbia.
Public health officials have recommended early this year that individuals get a flu shot if they have not done so already. While it does not or may not provide any defence against COVID 19, it may help in preventing or limiting the effectives of the regular flu (which may cause symptoms similar to COVID 19 or lead to a weakened immune system).
There have, as you may know, been events scheduled cancelled or postponed. This is to help in controlling the spread of the virus.
It is advisable to discuss with the clubs executive, the planned event, in light of COVID 19, and seek their views but also seek out the expert opinions through the links provided. (See below).
Do a Risk Assessment and consider the Risks of not holding the event and the Risks of holding the event. These assessments would include:
Health Risk to athletes, coaches, officials, event organizers and volunteers.
See the section below on: Tips for event organizers and attendees at events.
For all Track & Field, Road or XC Meets it will be important to provide information in the meet information package and on the club website about what steps the Club / Organizing Cttee is taking to insure a safe and clean environment for the T&F Meet and what they as Athletes, Coaches, Parents/Guardians, Family members, Event Organizers and Spectators need to do to insure a healthy event.
Information on the Coronavirus (COVID 19) in British Columbia and Canada.
In addition BC Athletics has been monitoring the situation through the:
Government of British Columbia – through HealthLink BC
At the present time the BC Government and Health Authorities – Dr Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health Officer are providing regular updates, which BC Athletics is monitoring.
Tips for event organizers and attendees at events include:
- Gatherings of more than 250 people should be cancelled.
- It is her recommendation against all travel outside of Canada which extends to the U.S. and that anyone who chooses to leave the country must stay home from work or school for 14 days.
- Do not attend the event if you are sick or not feeling well.
- Do not attend the event if you have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for the virus.
- Do not attend the event if you have recently returned to Canada from countries that have experienced outbreaks of the virus, resulting quarantines or for which the Govt of Canada has issued Travel Advisories on.
- Wash your hands thoroughly – singing at least 2 verses of Happy Birthday (approx. 20 seconds or more)
- Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if Soap and Water are not readily available.
- Encourage people and give them space to clean their hands regularly — organizers of the World Rugby Sevens tournament implemented in Vancouver this past weekend.
- Avoid shaking hands and hugs – instead replace with Elbow Bumps and Virtual Embraces.
- If Coughing or Sneezing – do so into a Tissue and discard it. Wash your hands immediately afterward
- Cough or Sneeze into your Elbow or Sleeve.
- Avoid touching your face or the face of others.
BC Athletics appreciates that this may be a lot to consider but it is important that collectively we do what we can to help limit the impact of the virus.
We hope this is helpful. Please contact the BC Athletics Office – firstname.lastname@example.org / 604-333-3552 if you have further questions or need clarification on any of the information provided.
Thank you for your help and understanding during this time.
Brian McCalder, President/CEO, BC Athletics