Orcas - COVID-19 info

GENERAL INFO ABOUT COVID-19 AND SWIMMING 

COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus mostly found in animals, but when humans become infected, symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on a number of variables. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Tragic consequences of this virus are being experienced around the world, including within Canada. There are many ongoing challenges for all of us to manage. For our Canadian aquatics community, a safe and responsible return to swimming is paramount. The intent of the following information is not to provide permission to return to sport, but rather to supply the reader with a guide to current medical recommendations in an attempt to mitigate risks related to COVID-19. The goal is to avoid becoming infected and spreading to other people in the community. 

COVID-19 has a fragile lipid outer membrane, and is therefore highly susceptible to soaps and oxidants, such as chlorine. According to the Centre for Disease Control, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas. Proper operation maintenance, disinfection with chlorine or bromine of pools should inactivate the virus (CDC 2020). A related coronavirus which caused the SARS epidemic in 2003, was found to be inactivated by UV treatment and disinfectors. 

SPORT AND PERFORMANCE COHORTS

It is recommended from the Alberta government to limit the total number of cohort groups you and your core (family) cohort belong to.

Interacting with the same people and the same cohorts will be safer than constantly changing the people you interact with.

It is recommended if possible that households with sports, performing, and/or child care cohorts consider having a smaller core cohort, given the total number of close contacts between all groups.

HEALTH MONITORING

Every Athlete will be required to complete a prescreening checklist before arriving at the Manluk Centre. This checklist will be offered digitally by following this link: 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=y1yurxFTl0WgiWD9JUM1yWUG-7tUgCxMu2CgNWMIuThUMlFXWEtXS01OV0xMNlA2MExEWkE0S0JKSC4u

This link will also be posted on our Facebook page and will be emailed out to parents at the beginning of the season.

Athletes must answer ‘NO’ to all questions prior to attending any training session either digitally or physically.

An athlete that is required to leave a training session as a consequence of experiencing signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is required to contact their physician to consider the appropriateness of further investigations. Further investigations may include a test for COVID-19, which then may lead to the notification of appropriate public health officials regarding a positive test result. Public health officials will determine any requirements related to facility and/or group operations, as well as any requirements around contact tracing as it relates to managing the spread of the virus. The athlete may not return until receiving clearance from the physician, and if a test for COVID-19 was completed, a negative test result will be required before further training is permitted. 

Athletes at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are recommended to review their specific health concerns with their primary care provider prior to attending training sessions. Common underlying health conditions which may place an individual at higher risk would include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and those who are otherwise immunocompromised.

TRAINING GROUP PROTOCOL FOR POSITIVE TEST 

If an athlete receives a positive test result for COVID-19, the following steps will be taken: 

  • The athlete is removed from the training group immediately. 
  • Team training will be suspended, and all team members are placed in self-isolation. 
  • The local public health authority will provide further management recommendations which may include further testing, and contact tracing. 
  • Any further team members who develop symptoms will be referred to the appropriate public health authority (AHS) or help-line (811) for guidance on testing and appropriate management.
  • Information will stay confidential between the club and those who receive a positive test result

Team training could resume if: 

  • All team members undergo self-isolation for 14 days and no other member has developed symptoms. 
  • All team members are cleared to return to group training by their physician in accordance with Provincial guidelines. 

HOME ISOLATION RECOMMENDATIONS 

If you find yourself ill with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, 

  • Remain at home except to get urgent medical care. 
  • Do not go to work, school, pool, or other public places. 
  • Cancel non urgent appointments. 
  • Do not use public transport. 
  • Notify your doctor or local health department by phone, as testing may be required. 
  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if you are having difficulty breathing, are unable to drink fluids, or if your illness is significantly worsening. 
  • Wear a face mask when around others, particularly when physical distancing cannot be maintained. 
  • Separate from household members, at least 2 meters at all times. 
  • Do not have visitors. 

USE OF EQUIPMENT

  • Athletes are not to leave equipment or mesh bags at the facility. All equipment needs to be brought home and thoroughly cleaned after each training session. 
  • Personal items and clothing (backpacks, jackets, shoes, etc.) brought in by athletes should be kept to a minimum. 
  • Backpacks and bags will not be permitted on the pool deck.
  • Sharing of water bottles is prohibited.

ARRIVING FOR PRACTICE

  • All athletes are required to wear a face mask or face covering while in a public space
  • Athletes may remove their masks after changing and before coming onto the pool deck
  • Athletes arriving prior to the start of practice may wait in the viewing area
  • Before entering the viewing area, athletes will be required to complete the daily health monitoring checklist and temperature check
  • Athletes waiting in the viewing area must maintain a physical distance of 2 meters
  • Athletes will be allowed into the changerooms 5 minutes before the start of practice
  • Athletes will enter the changerooms from the viewing area and pool deck
  • It is recommended that athletes arrive to practice ready to go in their swimsuits

DEPARTING PRACTICE

  • After practice athletes are required to head directly to the changerooms
  • Athletes must take all of their equipment with them
  • All athletes are required to wear a face mask or face covering while in the changerooms
  • Athletes are asked to change as quick as possible and leave the facility