February 13 2022
As we head into a new and important week of hockey, we wanted to provide an update based on latest NL Government Public Health and Hockey NL guidance. We are pleased that public health guidance is permitting game / league play and all games are published in DJHL / IHL websites and / or TeamSnap app. We encourage everyone to update your ‘Availability’ status to communicate attendance to your coaches and managers.
AMHA is aware that other associations have published specific guidance re: mask wearing during on-ice sessions, ie. practices and games. Based on our detailed review of public health guidance, AMHA is NOT mandating mask wearing during on – ice practices and games. Players have the option to continue to wear buffs or masks if they feel more comfortable doing so. Like all things related to COVID-19, we will continue to monitor this situation and update as required.
Hockey NL also recently published additional guidance re: mask wearing. It was shared in the form of a memo to all minor hockey associations and we have shared it below for additional context. With this clarification, it is no longer the case that ALL participants would be deemed close contacts, only those that meet the definition as presented below. The key clarification is that the onus is on participants to determine ‘close contacts.’
AMHA wishes to present for additional clarity, effective immediately and until further notice, we encourage all players to wear non-medical masks or buffs while on the ice or bench, but AMHA does not consider it to be mandatory. Coaches are still required to wear masks on the ice during practice and while on the bench during games as per Hockey NL policy.
AMHA reminds all players, parents, coaches, and spectators to pay extra attention to COVID-19 guidelines, especially mask wearing, while entering and exiting the rink and in spectator areas.
We are optimistic that hockey will return to normal in the near future and we can play in a safe and healthy environment for all.
Yours in Hockey,
AMHA Board of Directors
HOCKEY NL MEMO
COVID-19 ISOLATION REQUIREMENTS
We have been getting some questions in relation to the Isolation Requirements. We have approached Public Health as members were asking questions on close contact interpretations for our sport as it relates to the Exposure Flow Chart.
This was a question from one of our members: Need further clarification on close contacts during competition vs practices. During competition due to the speed and nature of game close contact is less frequent as players do not come in contact as frequently during a game or in some cases not at all. This will likely bring competition to a halt quickly as 1 positive case in a game would shut down 2 teams for 10 days. Discussion likely needed here. Why the need to isolate entire team if physically distanced?
The response from Public Health is below.
- The COVID Exposure Flow Chart (https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/files/Covid-Exposure-Flowchart-2021-FINAL.pdf) notes that “a close contact is generally someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes when public health measures, such as masking and physical distancing, were not in place.” It further states that a close contact means “You were near the person for at least 15 minutes while indoors when you were not wearing a mask.” 15 minutes is considered cumulative time, and not necessarily all at once. The onus is on participants and/or parents to determine for themselves whether they or their children were potentially exposed, based on their level of protection and interactions with other team members.
We continue to stress the importance of wearing buffs while on the players and penalty bench as well as wearing non-medical masks in the dressing rooms and within the facility. We trust this information from Public Health will assist your association in managing the return of competition next week.
Hockey NL Board of Directors