Date – February 12, 2021
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL – The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey NL from Dr. Jared Butler, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for the Branch, on the recent suspension of hockey and the impact of Covid-19.
Upon learning on February 5 and 6, 2021 that some participants within our organization had possibly been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, and in compliance and agreement with Public Health advisories, Hockey NL made the decision to cancel a number of events. This decision was made in the interest of safety for both our members and our communities. Subsequent to this, further events were cancelled and restrictions put in place in the days that followed.
On Thursday February 11th, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald in her role as the Chief Medical Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador, imposed a series of Special Measures. Prior to this announcement, Hockey NL had suspended operations across the province in the interest of safety. As a result of these Public Health restrictions, Hockey NL has extended the suspension of hockey operations throughout the province indefinitely.
During the summer of 2020, Hockey NL struck an Ad Hoc Committee tasked with creating a comprehensive Return to Hockey (RTH) plan prior to the start of the season. The framework drafted by the committee, and enacted by the Branch, implemented a number of measures within our sport to reduce the potential spread of the Covid-19 virus. All member associations, leagues, and teams were required to complete their plans outlining their individual response to RTP within the framework established by the committee. These plans were then submitted for final approval prior to the commencement of operations this past fall on a limited, and restricted, basis. Members of Hockey NL have complied with the directives and Special Measures of the Department of Public Health since operations have recommenced in the Fall of 2020.
These past few days, our province have been grappling with the news from Dr. Fitzgerald of viral spread throughout the St. John’s metro region. This has quite understandably created some concern within our membership and our communities. Hockey NL has worked, and will continue to do so, with our members in communicating and supporting the Special Measures set forth by the Department of Public Health. Hockey NL places safety as its top priority for all members and volunteers.
A communiqué was circulated last evening to all members of Hockey NL providing information on the Special Measures now in place and the recommendations of Dr. Fitzgerald and her team. This statement can be found at https://hockeynl.ca/uncategorized/covid-19-clarification-from-cmo-hockey-nl/.
Hockey NL shall continue to drive education and best practices in compliance with directives from the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health. It is the obligation of everyone under our umbrella to espouse the message circulated on February 11th from the Branch while adhering to the following important points:
- Follow Public Health Guidance for All Alert Levels.
- Stay at home as much as possible, except to get essentials like groceries and medications.
- Limit your contacts to your household bubble.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact 811.
- You are strongly encouraged to work from home, where possible.
Hockey NL will remain in communication with the appropriate health authorities. On behalf of the Branch and all of its members, a sincere thank you is extended to Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, all of her team and Public Health officials, all of our frontline workers, and each citizen of our province for ensuring the health and safety of all.
We will continue to be proactive with respect to the safety of all our members, volunteers, their families, and our communities. We hope this advisory provides some clarification for media regarding the recent events.
For more information, please contact
Executive Director, Hockey NL
P.O. Box 176
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL