Update #4: Advisory on COVID-19

Sunday, March 15, 2020

UPDATE #4 | 15 March 2020

Advisory on COVID-19


There are over 162,410 cases worldwide, 5,985 deaths and over 75,000 recovered. The largest surges in cases continue to be in Europe with Italy, France, Germany and Spain being hardest hit. There are 141 countries reporting cases. The WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.

In Canada the numbers have started to rise with now over 250 cases. We now have 11 recovered and still only one death of an elderly person in BC

As an update the federal government has recommended that Canadians overseas return to Canada as some countries are closing their borders to international flights. They also recommend to “avoid non essential travel outside Canada until further notice” https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Although Olympic & Paralympic travel to training venues is a NSO-based decision (and may be viewed as ‘essential’), it is recommended that consideration be given to being stranded in a foreign country with insurance that may not cover travel or medical expenses. Medical access in the COVID pandemic may also be limited.

Travel for training or competition other than compulsory Paralympic or Olympic qualification in 2020 should not be considered for at least 30 days. Updates will be provided should this time period change.

There are no restrictions or policies about travel within Canada at this time.

In all cases you should contact your team CMO or CSIO CMO/ team physician for advice and coordination.
In terms of self-isolation for anyone returning from outside of Canada, as of March 13, 14-Day self-isolation should be implemented for athletes returning to Canada from all international destinations. Self-monitoring should be emphasized for all athletes returning from international destinations. Please consult with CMOs to discuss travel dates that may be of concern.

Athletes should not seek medical attention for respiratory conditions (cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat) at CSI clinics. Consult with local public health authorities or CMOs by telephone.

Training Environment:

NSOs should withhold athletes/coaches/staff with symptoms from attending training.
Medical advice recommends that self-isolation includes staying at home and avoiding all mass gatherings and public transport. Training outside (e.g. running) is permissible in isolation; avoiding social gatherings or training groups.

NSOs are recommended to work with CSI/CSCs and/or other training facility owners to determine hygienic training environments inclusive of modified training numbers, enhanced spacing of equipment, increased hand-washing, and increased sanitizing approaches.

NSOs should be mindful of municipal or provincial regulations regarding limits to mass gatherings.
Psychological factors are playing a large role in this pandemic and we encourage those that are concerned to contact their team physician, CMO or mental health team. Link is American but a good reference on social distancing and isolation.


It cannot be emphasized enough to continue to be diligent in self care including hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and cough etiquette.



Updated links from the Government of Canada and WHO

Provincial Information

Travel Advisories

All countries recommend no travel and require 14 day self-isolation upon return.

Further Questions:

Further information about COVID-19 may be obtained from your NSO Chief Medical Officer or Team Physician, or the Chief Medical Officers of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee.

Dr. Mike Wilkinson, Canadian Olympic Committee: mwilkinson@olympic.ca
Dr. Andy Marshall Canadian, Paralympic Committee: amarshall@paralympic.ca
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, Institut National du Sport du Québec: sleclerc@insquebec.org
Dr. Doug Richards, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario: drichards@csiontario.ca
Dr. Brian Benson, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: bbenson@csicalgary.ca
Dr. Paddy McCluskey, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific: pmccluskey@csipacific.ca

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