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ISSUE #: 2020-005
March 10, 2020
TO: BC Hockey Membership and Participants
FROM: Barry Petrachenko
Chief Executive Officer

SUBJECT: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

BC Hockey is closely monitoring the evolving situation with respect to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We are continuing to review and monitor information from the Provincial Public Health Authority as well as both the Government of Canada and Government of BC.
BC Hockey is entering a very busy time of the year for the hockey community. Championships, jamborees and Program of Excellence/Zone Camps all begin within the next five (5) to 10 days. Leagues at all levels are into playoff action, along with tournaments and Regional and National championships are approaching over the next few weeks.
Please be assured that the health and safety of our participants is our priority.
We are in daily communication with our national partner, Hockey Canada, and we are monitoring updates, recommendations and warnings that may be issued by the Government of BC and Government of Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk to Canadians as low and recommends assessing the risk from a specific situation or event on a case-by-case basis. Currently the Government of BC also identifies the risk to BC residents as low. Links are provided below to the respective government update pages.
Government of Canada Government of BC The Public Health Agency of Canada
At this time, BC Hockey has not cancelled any events, and each scheduled event will have additional precautions communicated through the hosts directly to the participants.
Should a member of BC Hockey be hosting their own event and have questions or concerns, they are asked to please reach out to the BC Hockey office at info@bchockey.net so it can be individually evaluated.
As new information is provided from any of our events, BC Hockey will continue to update all members and participants.
This situation serves as a reminder that, with the health and safety of participants our priority, prevention in the hockey environment should be considered by those involved in our game.
The following are recommendations that should be considered at all times during all hockey programming:
– Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 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.
– 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 COVID-19 themselves.
– Monitor illness and injuries in all teams. Parents are urged to keep 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. Officials and coaches will also not be required to shake hands during the Fair Play Initiative.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
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.
Any questions can be directed to Brianna Davey, Vice President Member Services & Safety at bdavey@bchockey.net