CurlBC Response to PHO orders for Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal regions

Dear RCC Members, in response to many questions arising from our decision to extend our closure to November 23, we are sharing the following memo that was sent out from CurlBC on Monday.

Dear Region 11 Clubs,

No doubt many of you were listening to Dr. Henry’s media briefing today with bated breath, as we were. While she did clear some things up, we are still waiting for the publication of a written order to confirm a number of other details.

Fortunately, Dr. Henry expressly stated that non-contact sports such as curling (which she named specifically in her media briefing today) can continue. She also stressed the importance of maintaining physical distancing when engaged in non-contact sports.

We recognize and acknowledge that a number of our clubs have made an extraordinary decision to close for the next two weeks, and others have temporarily closed to wait for further direction from the PHO, viaSport, and Curl BC. We thank you for your commitment to provide our communities with a Covid safe physical activity and space. And whether you have chosen to close for the next 2 weeks, or to open and operate with increased modifications for the next two weeks, we see you, and we acknowledge that all of us are doing our respective parts to stop the spread of Covid-19 while balancing the need to provide our communities with an outlet for the stress, anxiety, and isolation of having lived with this virus for the past 8 months.

It is now clear that clubs that choose to open or remain open during the next 2 weeks should be tightening up regulations with regards to physical distancing. There MUST NOT be any instances where physical distancing cannot be maintained between your curlers, whether on the ice or off the ice. If there are and you can’t monitor it and correct it, your recommended course of action is to close until Nov. 23 to allow you to re-set and reinforce the critical importance of maintaining physical distancing to your curlers in order to keep the club open and for game play to continue for the rest of the season.

Our understanding of the current verbal orders is that our clubs do not have to submit an updated Covid-19 Safety Plan to a local medical health officer in order to continue operations, or to restart your operations, if you have temporarily ceased operations as of Saturday. However, as Dr. Henry has recommended that workplaces review their Covid-19 Safety Plan, we also urge you to to review yours in light of the latest information. To give your Covid-19 Safety Plan more rigour, we recommend these measures until Nov. 23 or until these restrictions are lifted:
• At the very least strict enforcement of physical distancing on the ice is needed
o If enforcement is too difficult, go back to “three to a shot” play or simply only allowing 3 on 3 play as this makes physical distancing easier. Implement no relay and no sweeping behind the teeline.
• Mandatory masks on ice
• Closing your lounge (just for two weeks, not forever!)

Another piece of these current orders pertain to travel for sport. As you may have heard, travel for sport is suspended for the next 2 weeks. We had initially understood this to mean travel for competitions, but we have since been informed that this applies to travel for recreational sport as well. This means that if your address is in one HEALTH REGION, and you play in a club in the adjoining HEALTH REGION, the order prohibits you from crossing health region boundaries to engage in, and participate in, sport activities. If you are found to have breached this order, you and/or the club may be fined and/or shut down for breaching this order. Please consider this strongly as you resume or continue with league play. It may be that teams will have to look for spares, games may have to be forfeited for the next 2 weeks, or there may have to be make up games after November 23 (hopefully).

For ease of reference, these are the communities in each of the 2 health regions:

Vancouver Coastal:
Howe Sound
Lions Bay
Pemberton
qathet Regional District (Powell River area)
Richmond
Sunshine Coast Regional District
Squamish
Vancouver
West Vancouver
Whistler

Fraser Health:
Abbotsford
Agassiz
Burnaby
Chilliwack
Coquitlam
Delta
Hope
Langley
Maple Ridge
New Westminster
Pitt Meadows
Port Coquitlam
Port Moody
Surrey
White Rock

We respect the decision of every club to determine how to proceed. We recognize and acknowledge that a number of our clubs have made the extraordinary decision to close for the next two weeks, and others have temporarily closed to wait for further direction from the PHO, viaSport, and Curl BC. We thank you for your commitment to provide our communities with a Covid safe physical activity and space. And whether you have chosen to close for the next 2 weeks, or to open and operate with increased modifications for the next two weeks, we see you, and we acknowledge that all of us are doing our respective parts to stop the spread of Covid-19 while balancing the need to provide our communities with an outlet for the stress, anxiety, and isolation of having lived with this virus for the past 8 months.

Any action we can take now to get the case counts under control will mean that curling can continue all season, which is in all of our best interests.

**** PLEASE NOTE that as of 9:55PM, November 9, 2020, the written orders have not yet been published, and, as such, these are our understanding of the orders based on the verbal announcements and on secondary sources of information. Once the written orders are out we will be able to communicate and confirm further details. For now, most of our information has come from here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/lower-mainland?bcgovtm=20200506_GCPE_AM_COVID_11_NOTIFICATION_BCGOVNEWS_BCGOV_EN_BC__NOTIFICATION

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Melissa Sim | Member Services Manager | Curl BC
(w) 604-333-3620 Email: msim@curlbc.ca | Web: www.curlbc.ca

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