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OMHA Statement Regarding COVID-19

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 03/11/20, 3:00PM EDT

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Situation is being closely monitored


Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa Photography

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are in communication with Hockey Canada and the Ontario Hockey Federation as well as following any recommendations from the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada.

We understand this is a very busy and exciting time of year in hockey across the province. Over the next few weeks, OMHA Playdowns Finals presented by Egg Farmers of Ontario are getting underway, many teams are wrapping up their seasons and there are still plenty of tournaments and games to be decided.

As always, the health and safety of all of our participants is a priority. 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 on a case-by-case basis.

At this time, the OMHA has not cancelled events or games. New information will continue to be communicated to our members when provided.

The following recommendations should be considered during hockey programming:

  • Fist bump with hockey gloves on, instead of shaking hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • 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, it is suggested 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.

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