York Region Public Health is offering some COVID-19 tips and reminders to help support hockey leagues and players in our community. We ask that you share the key messages and hockey G.O.A.L. tip sheet contained in this communication with your membership, including the staff, parents and players that are part of the diverse and passionate hockey community within the York Region.
York Region continues to see increased cases of COVID-19 linked to local hockey leagues in our community. From November 1 to December 1, 2021, there were 34 confirmed and 8 probable COVID-19 cases associated with 3 confirmed and 9 suspect hockey-related outbreaks. This resulted in 346 close contacts being identified and impacted. Most of these cases were hockey players under the age of 12.
With our current volume of daily cases and the recent higher prevalence of cases in the younger age groups, it’s wise for all of us to continue to be vigilant and to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Over the past few months, we’ve made great vaccination headway in both York Region and in the province. Two weeks ago, we began vaccinating children aged 5-11 and currently 25% of children aged 5-11 in the York Region are vaccinated! Way to go York Region! If your child has not yet been vaccinated, please visit york.ca/covid19vaccine to schedule a vaccination appointment as soon as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, please speak to your health care provider, call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 and ask to speak to a public health professional or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.
COVID-19 infection can have serious health consequences for all age groups, including young people, particularly given the circulation of new variants of concern. Following public health safety measures, including getting vaccinated and getting tested remain more important than ever for preventing infection and spread of COVID-19. Be a team player: when sick, stay home to avoid spreading illness to others.
We have already provided guidance to sports, fitness and recreational facilities to remind facility owners/operators of current recommendations through the COVID-19 Guidance for Sports, Fitness and Recreational Facilities (November 19, 2021) PDF attached to this email and via ongoing on-site educational sessions by public health staff and local by-law officers.
Proof of vaccination
As you are already aware, effective October 1, 2021, each person aged 12 years or older must show proof of vaccination when attending the indoor area of the facility for the purpose of:
· Actively participating in organized sports
· Coaching, officiating at organized sports or volunteers
· Spectating at organized sports
Effective January 1, 2022, all children participating in indoor organized sports will be given a grace period of 12 weeks (3 months) from their 12th birthday during which they must provide identification but are not required to provide proof of being fully vaccinated. This grace period will allow a reasonable opportunity for the children to be fully vaccinated. As already mentioned, those aged 5-11 can be vaccinated now. Please visit york.ca/covid19vaccine to book a vaccination appointment.
Everyone should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek assessment and testing, if necessary and stay home if sick. Owners and operators of facilities used for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities must actively screen individuals who enter the facilities. Coaches, players, parents and spectators can use:
· Provincial COVID-19 customer screening
As well, we encourage individuals to arrive at the facility appropriately dressed for their activity to minimize the amount of time spent in change rooms.
Mask and face-covering usage
All individuals in indoor areas of the facility are required to wear a mask or face covering unless actively participating or engaging in an athletic or fitness activity, or entitled to an exception (see: O. Reg.364/20). Please wear a mask when:
· Moving between areas in the facility
· In changerooms, especially when physical distancing cannot be maintained
· Spectators must wear a mask or face covering unless entitled to an exception
Owners and operators or the person responsible for the facilities must record the name and contact information for every member of the public who enters the facility. All individuals are asked to cooperate with owners and operators and, in the event of a possible investigation, with local public health authorities. Contact tracing is an important component of the COVD-19 pandemic response and the safety of our community is linked with the ongoing cooperation of all its members.
Infection prevention and control
We ask patrons to practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene and respiratory practices by ensuring soap and water and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer is used.
If any of your membership are looking for information on vaccination, including helpful information on making the decision to get vaccinated for themselves or their children, please share the following resources where they can get further information:
· York Region - COVID-19 Vaccinations In York Region
· York Region - COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
· Government of Canada Vaccines for children: COVID-19
· Access York at 1-877-464-9675