General News

Update #25: Advisory on COVID-19

UPDATE #25 | 9 December 2020


Please Note: The SMAC COVID-19 Advisory will no longer be released bi-weekly and will be issued ‘as required’. Please continue to request information via the SMAC CMOs and/or members of the COVID-19 Return to Sport Task Force.

Disease Update
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is over 68 million with over 47 million recovered and 1,550,000 deaths. Mortality rate in Canada is 5.2 %. In Canada we have over 423,000 cases, 12,700 deaths and 339,000 (80%) recovered. Some provinces continue to experience record numbers of cases and hospitalisations. In some countries the numbers of cases are at all-time highs. This reinforces the need to remain careful and follow recommendations on hand washing, physical distancing and use of masks (which is now mandatory in most provinces in Canada and many countries in the world).

Different provinces are now setting different restrictions on cities or regions rather than just a province wide rule and this often impacts training facilities and sport institutes in different ways. Please check often with your training facilities for any changes in restrictions.

Case Studies
Below are links to two additional case studies, one on Wheelchair Rugby Canada and one on Curling Canada. Thanks to both organizations for sharing your experiences in return to training and competition.

Curling Canada
Wheelchair Rugby Canada

Testing in Canadian Sport Institutes
Please check the links below for the latest information on options for testing for screening in the Canadian Sport Institutes.

CSI Pacific
CSI Calgary
CSI Ontario
INS Quebec

Point of Care Testing
Own the Podium, with the support of COC and CPC, have purchased Songbird Hyris bCUBE portable point of care testing devices for use by sports for training camps and competition screening for COVID-19. Protocols for obtaining and use of the devices have been developed. Information and bookings can be done through Allan Wrigley ([email protected]).

Canadian High Performance Sport COVID-19 Database
Thanks to those sports that have submitted information into the COVID-19 Testing Database. The first results are just in and at this point 26 NSOs have reported on their testing and positive cases over the last 9 months. We are still receiving information. If you are a CMO of a NSO or IST Lead and have not received the relevant email and links, please contact Dr Andrew Marshall ([email protected]). Also, it is important that each sport only has one person reporting the regular updates to avoid double data entries. The next request for information will go out December 14 and will request information from November 30 to December 13, 2020. Access to the dashboard will be available to sports through a password protected site in the near future.

Travel During Holiday Season

After review of provincial trends and information regarding COVID-19, the Canada Sport Medicine Advisory Council (SMAC) recommends the following with regards to athlete and team member travel during the upcoming holiday season:

  • It is safer for individuals not to travel during the holiday season. This also applies to having family or friends travelling to visit you. If you do, please be aware of the public health authority restrictions where you travel and the potential need for self-isolation upon arrival.
  • If one does choose to travel, on return to the training environment, there will be either a 5-7 day self-isolation period upon return, with a negative COVID-19 test result required before returning to facilities and training groups or a 14 day self-isolation period prior to return to facilities and training groups if no testing is done.
  • For any international travel, the present federal 14 day quarantine period on return to Canada will be in force unless new regulations and restrictions are released prior to that time.
  • Travel deemed essential for critical camps/competitions should be planned in close consultation with CMO or COPSIN medical teams.

The above restrictions should be discussed and verified by team members with their NSO and conform to both provincial health authority regulations where you live as well as your travel destination.

The travel ban across the Canada-US border has been extended and infection rates in the US continue to climb. Within Canada some provinces are placing restrictions on travel for sport within or across provincial lines. If camps or competition are planned, please check for the latest local restrictions. Additional precautions are as follows:

  • Check the local quarantine regulations immediately prior to departure
  • Wear a mask at airport and on flight. Medical grade masks are preferable but N95 masks are not a requirement.
  • Wash hands frequently in airport. Once settled in seat use hand sanitizer and wash hands again upon leaving plane and airport.
  • Practice rigorous cough hygiene at all times.
  • Using a wipe to clean the arms of the seat. Do not use the seatback table or entertainment system unless necessary and wash it with a wipe before using it.
  • Choose a window seat as this minimizes contacts with others.
  • Wipe down luggage including hand luggage once retrieved and exiting airport and any public transport such as a bus or taxi.