UPDATE #12 | 15 April 2020
ADVISORY ON COVID-19
SPORT MEDICINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE UPDATE:
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is over 2 million with 490,000 recovered and 128,000 deaths. Physical distancing and self-isolation are in place in over 50 countries and affect over 2.3 billion people. While some countries have slowed the doubling rate of new cases and deaths, other areas in the world are seeing these rates accelerate. We are starting to see some second waves in countries that had relaxed their restrictions and are monitoring this closely as this will have effects on other countries including Canada in the future.
In Canada we have over 27,000 cases, 903 deaths and 8,250 recovered. Of the 18,000 presently active cases in Canada 97% are classified as mild. Many of the deaths are from nursing home outbreaks and this has prompted many to consider relaxing their physical isolation and hygiene measures. Although the curves are starting to flatten there is a lot of risk involved in relaxing restrictions and we can only reemphasize that in Canada there are limited resources available and asymptomatic spread is occurring so please continue to assume all others have COVID and act responsibly. Despite media reports of some sports or leagues discussing June to re-start, this is not imminent in Canada. The IOC, IPC and the IFs continue to work on confirming a revised qualification schedule for Tokyo and winter competition calendar. It remains too early for us to start training in groups or shared facilities as the risks of transmission and becoming infected are still very high.
As per the previous updates we strongly encourage athletes to take this enforced self-isolation period to work with their Coaches, HPDs, IST and CMOs to address any known biomechanical and physical deficiencies that are easily addressed with home training and NOT to be attempting to reach peak performance this year (the rationale has been addressed in earlier releases). If you do have symptoms you should not train until you have contacted your Team Physician, CMO, CSI physician or Family physician to avoid any potential severe and long term complications etc.
A recent study by a Belgian and Dutch group looked at air flow and particles when exercising. On the basis of these lab controlled (no prevailing wind etc) results the scientist advises that for walking the distance of people moving in the same direction in 1 line should be at least 4–5 meters, for running and slow biking it should be 10 meters and for hard biking at least 20 meters. Also, when passing someone it is advised to already be in a different lane at a considerable distance e.g. 20 meters for biking.
Institutes and Training Facilities
At this stage all Canadians remain under national and provincial public health guidance and as such all institutes and public training facilities remain closed for the foreseeable future.
COVID-19 has led to changes to our daily routine, a constant influx of information, and uncertainty about the future. As a result, the COVID-19 Mental Health and Mental Performance Taskforce Group is seeing a range of reactions by the sport community including increased anxiety and stress, fluctuating motivation, concerns about training and deconditioning, fear of prolonged isolation and lack of connection, but also positive adaptation and resilience. In addition to taking care of our physical health, it is equally important to protect our mental health, promote well-being, and build mental fitness and resilience. Sport medicine providers should anticipate the need for additional mental health support for athletes, coaches and staff during these times of uncertainty and can refer to the following resource guide for those who would benefit from additional support ( Mental Health Resource ).
Additionally, athletes, coaches, and support staff are invited to reach out to their Mental Performance Consultants (MPC) to discuss a plan to strengthen their mental performance and resilience. Those who do not currently have an MPC can consult the Canadian Sport Psychology Association (CSPA) website ( https://www.cspa-acps.com ) for registered MPCs across the country.
AN UPDATE WILL BE PROVIDED EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 4:00 PM EDT OR AS REQUIRED.