IMPORTANT INFORMATION BULLETIN – CORONAVIRUS – COVID-19

     

IMPORTANT INFORMATION BULLETIN

 

As noted in the release from Hockey Canada earlier this month, on January 25, 2020, the Government of Ontario reported the first case of COVID‐19 (coronavirus) in Canada. The Provincial Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald is in contact with Canada’s chief public health officer, as well as colleagues in other province and territories to ensure any cases of COVID‐19 identified continue to be managed to protect the health of everyone in our communities. Hockey NL’s VP and Medical Director, Dr. Jared Butler is in contact with Dr. Fitzgerald, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, and other groups of interest to obtain the most up to date and accurate information on a regular basis.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is constantly assessing the public health risk associated with COVID‐19.  Currently, this risk level is set as LOW for Canada and for Canadian travelers depending on the destination. Updates on COVID‐19 can be found at:

Government of Canada

https://www.canada.ca/en/public‐health/services/diseases/2019‐novel‐coronavirusinfection.html

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

https://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/coronavirus/

Memorial University of Newfoundland (for students)

https://www.mun.ca/main/coronavirus.php

Hockey NL will be monitoring the situation as it develops and evolves. We are involved in national calls with all branches and Hockey Canada every other day for up to date information sharing and direction.  Updates will be done on a regular basis to ensure the most accurate information is available to our members.  Currently, ALL tournaments at the local, regional, and national level will continue as planned.  We are recommending that anyone purchasing tickets or arranging travel secure trip cancellation insurance should the unfortunate happen and events be cancelled.

Hockey NL is partnering with its sister Branches in Atlantic Canada, as well as Hockey Canada, to develop up to date practices, policies and procedures for all events so that they are consistent across the four (4) Atlantic Provinces.  This partnership should help standardize everyone’s approach and provide some reduction in the possible risk of disease spread.

With respect to our provincial championships and all events in NL, discussions are ongoing but as of now they are scheduled to take place.  However, things are changing daily and we will be monitoring. Hockey NL will be taking clear direction from our provincial health authorities on this issue. Concerns have been raised with respect to large gatherings of people from different regions and communities which may pose a significant health risk to every member, especially those who are most vulnerable. This significant safety concern will be taken into consideration when formulating decisions as to whether these events will be altered in any way.

This situation serves as a reminder that the health and safety of participants is a priority, and prevention in the hockey environment should be considered by those around the game.

Dr. Jared Butler, VP and Medical Director, Hockey NL

Jack Lee, President, Hockey NL

Craig Tulk, Executive Director, Hockey NL

 

Information and Recommendations

 

Modes of transmission: droplets sprayed by affected individuals, contact with patient respiratory secretions, contaminated surfaces and equipment. (Indirect contact with a vehicle or vector);

Currently no available treatment or vaccination, supportive measures only;

If your symptoms are severe, you should contact 811 for directions on the best way to approach your care needs.

Recommendations:

  • NO Banquets, Opening or Closing Ceremonies should be held
  • Wash hands often with soap/water for 20-30 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol‐based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Make soap and/or hand sanitizer available in dressing rooms and hotels.
  • High Risk people include Seniors aged 65 and over
    • with compromised immune systems
    • with underlying medical conditions
    • Avoid contact with sick people, including avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Gloves should be worn by staff handling towels or laundry in the team environment.
  • Towels should not be shared on the team bench.
  • Players should not share clothing, bar soap or other personal items such as razors.
  • The Hockey Canada Safety Program recommends the following protocol as it relates to the use of water bottles:
  • Good team hygiene includes ensuring all players and staff have their own water bottles to prevent the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
  • Bottles should be labelled and washed after each practice or game.
  • It is further recommended that officials avoid the practice of drinking from the goaltender’s water bottle. If officials require water during a game, we suggest they have their own water bottle at the penalty bench.
  • There should not be sharing of water bottles in the penalty box, as well as no sharing of towels.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked animal products if having team meals, or if eating while travelling to events/tournaments.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, wash hands).
  • Advise players to try and not touch their own mouths or nose when in the hockey environment to reduce the chance of them passing an infection on to themselves.
  • Monitor illness and injury in all teams. Parents are urged to keep their children away from the hockey environment if they are showing any signs of infectious disease or virus.
  • Team members should be encouraged to self‐report if they feel ill.
  • Fist bump with hockey gloves on, instead of shaking hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – especially cell phones
  • Monitor travel restrictions on the Government of Canada Travel Advisory website, which can be found at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.
  • It is also important to check with applicable insurers specific to any cancelation policies or travel health insurance policies you may purchase to ensure there is coverage as it relates to COVID‐19.

Good hygienic practices will help to maintain a healthy team atmosphere and ultimately assist in keeping all participants healthy throughout the season.