Coronavirus and Hockey Alberta Events
The ongoing international health situation involving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having a significant impact within Canada and around the world.
On the weekend, two major sporting events involving our sport were cancelled – the IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championships in Halifax, and the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse.
At Hockey Alberta, we are entering a very busy time of year for the hockey community. Provincial championships start in 10 days; leagues at all levels are into playoff action; and regional and national championships are on the horizon over the next few weeks.
Please be assured that the health and safety of our participants is our priority.
We are in regular communication with our national partner, Hockey Canada, and we are monitoring updates, recommendations and warnings that may be issued by the Government of Alberta 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. The Government of Alberta also identifies the risk to Albertans as low. Links are provided below to the respective government update pages.
At this time, Hockey Alberta is not cancelling any hockey events.
Measures may be implemented to reduce direct contact between participants, such as not doing pre- or post-game handshakes, and those measures can be implemented by local organizers, if desired. Formal decisions will be communicated as they are determined.
Everyone is reminded about the importance of practicing proper hygiene to help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others. For hockey teams and their members, Hockey Canada recommends the following measures:
- 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 themselves.
- Monitor illness and injury in all teams. Parents are urged to keep their 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.
- Monitor travel restrictions on the Government of Canada Travel Advisory website, which can be found at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.
As circumstances evolve or change, Hockey Alberta will issue new Alerts to provide our Members and the hockey community in Alberta with all required updates and current information.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Member Services