New Normal: Organized Recreational Activities and Team Sports Guidance
To help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission in PEI, Updated COVID-19 Post Circuit Breaker Holiday Measures are in effect from January 6 to January 25th, 2021.
These CIRCUIT BREAKER measures impact businesses and gatherings and are different from the restrictions PEI residents were asked to observe during the New Normal phase.
The circuit breaker phase restrictions override all other existing sector specific public health guidance. Government of Prince Edward Island COVID-19 recommendations and guidances may be impacted by the CIRCUIT BREAKER measures.
As of October 1, 2020
This guideline applies to businesses, services or organizations operating organized recreational activities or team sports, both outdoors or indoors, including but not limited to baseball, basketball, dance, gymnastics, hockey, and soccer, choirs, and day camp activities. This guideline also applies to persons participating in such activities.
Core measures required by all businesses, services, and organizations:
- Develop and follow an operational plan detailing methods to mitigate transmission of disease.
- Take every reasonable step to ensure physical distancing of people (including employees and/or clients) of two metres (six feet) between each other.
- Take every reasonable step required to prevent organizers and/or participants who are required to self-isolate from entering the activity.
- Develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic organizers and/or participants are immediately excluded from activities.
- Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.
- Ensure hand washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible.
Measures for all organized recreational activities and team sports:
- Follow Gatherings Guidance.
- If there will be more than one gathering at one time at a facility (indoor or outdoor), Multiple Gatherings Guidance must be followed.
- For greater clarity, the number of individuals permitted to gather include any participants, volunteers and spectators present at or near the gathering. Paid staff are excluded from the gathering limit, within reason. The count of spectators does not apply to people in vehicles or individuals who are transporting players and sitting or standing outside cars, provided they do not mix with others.
- Each organization may determine how to reasonably modify participant activities provided the precautions noted in this document are in place, recognizing that activities with close and/or sustained contact, loud talking, shouting, singing, cheering, and/or larger numbers of individuals are higher risk for transmission of COVID-19. Consideration to the level of vulnerability of participants to more severe COVID-19 illness should also be considered. Consultation with national and provincial bodies where applicable is advised. Examples of organization-driven modifications may include:
- A combat sport, performance dance group or figure skating organization that involves close, sustained contact operating with small, consistent numbers of individuals (e.g. pairs or small groups)
- A choir distancing 3.5m/12ft between individuals, or if all choir members wear non-medical masks, distancing 2m/6ft between individuals
- Fitness classes that involve intense aerobic or physical training increasing physical distancing to more than 2m/6ft between individuals
- Card games involving close, sustained contact operating with small, consistent numbers of individuals (e.g. dedicated pairs or small groups) with no switching of people among tables
- For greater clarity, participants and others should maintain physical distance where at all possible, including in common spaces, such as dugouts and team bench areas.
- Physical distancing among spectators, staff and volunteers is to be maintained.
- Cheering, whistling, singing, and other vigorous vocalization that is not essential to an activity should be minimized as much as possible when in close proximity to others. This includes spectators, volunteers, staff, and participants. If this type of activity is anticipated to be unavoidable (e.g. cheering at sporting events), distance between individuals from different households is recommended to be increased to 3.5m/12ft. Where this is not possible, it is strongly recommended that non-medical masks be worn.
- Physical and visual cues to promote physical distancing are recommended in seating areas.
- If physical distancing cannot be maintained, a non medical mask is recommended for those not participating in the activity (i.e. coaches, volunteers, etc.). For participants, a non-medical mask may be considered recognizing that a non-medical mask should not impair vision or interfere with tasks such as work or strenuous exercise.
- Individuals from different households may share equipment (i.e. soccer balls, baseballs, gymnastics equipment, etc.) when necessary and with precautions (e.g. hand hygiene and equipment cleaning/disinfection).
- Clean and disinfect shared equipment frequently. Depending on the activity, this might be after each player’s use, between periods or innings, at specified break times, after switching gymnastics stations, and between group classes.
- If restrooms and/or showers are available, limit the number of users at a given time, maintain handwashing supplies, increase cleaning and disinfecting frequency, and install no-touch garbage bins.
- Operations must keep daily records of all players, staff, and volunteers, participating in their program. Operations must also keep daily records for spectators of at least one person per table/seating area and the number of individuals per table/seating area. This can be done with a responsible person completing attendance on site or electronically with verification on site. Records including the names and phone number should be kept for one month to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. Operations should have an internal process in place to quickly retrieve these records, should the records be needed, even on weekends. These records should be stored in a safe, secure location for one month after creation of the records and then disposed of using a secure destruction method to maintain the confidentiality of participants. For paper records, secure destruction means, at minimum, cross-cut shredding.
- Participants should be actively screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-isolation at the beginning of an activity/session/game/practice. A sample screening questionnaire can be found here https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-and-wellness/day-camp-guidance (scroll to the bottom)
- Tournaments and similar events are permitted where the total number of people mixing over the span of one day does not exceed 50, and as per the determination of each individual sport regarding the risk of gathering the numbers of individuals together for that particular activity. The 50 person limit is to keep contact tracing manageable in the instance of a positive case. There could be the potential for additional groups of 50 players provided the groups do not mix (as per the multiple gathering guidance). Pre-approval of a tournament operational plan is required when multiple groups of 50 are involved.
- Print and post signage outlining policies and procedures such as:
- Physical distancing expectations,
- Hand hygiene,
- Respiratory etiquette (coughing and sneezing), and
- Cleaning and disinfection practices and expectations.
- Print and post signage outlining policies and procedures such as:
- Print and post signage to notify individuals that they should not attend if they have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, weakness, and/or acute loss of sense of taste and smell.
- It is the responsibility of the organizer of any organized gathering to ensure appropriate health and safety protocols are followed, as per the CPHO COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order
- The operator of a business or facility must not knowingly rent, reserve or allow the business or facility to be used for an organized gathering that would contravene the Organized Gatherings section of the CPHO COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order.