Tag Archives: health

Lancaster Curling Club invites members to submit feedback on potential return to curling; EOHU releases guidelines for sports & rec

Will you feel comfortable participating in curling this season? That is part of what executive members of the Lancaster and District Curling Club are trying to learn from the general membership, as planning continues towards potential re-opening this fall.

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Last season came to a crashing halt in mid-May, when health authorities issued directives to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not much has changed in terms of risk since then, but the provincial government and local health authorities have gradually reduced restrictions, allowing sports and recreation groups to begin preparing for a return to play.

The Lancaster and District Curling Club conducted its 2020 annual general meeting remotely this year, in June, at which the new slate of executive directors was confirmed.

As part of the group’s work, plans are being explored for the 2020-21 season, including a survey of members.

Among the questions asked, the board wants to know, “If authorities allow sports to reopen in the fall, do you plan on curling with us this year?”

Should the club re-open for play, a number of health-related changes are being considered:

  • In an effort to spread out games, the club is looking at having league games extend through the weekend.
  • Members are also being asked, “Do you think it is reasonable to ask curlers to help wipe down the rocks, brooms, and door handles before each game?”

For individuals uncomfortable curling this year, the Lancaster executive asks if they will return once there “is a vaccine / effective treatment.”

EOHU publishes guidelines

To assist sports and recreation organizers, coaches, etc., the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has published a set of guidelines.

Amongst the recommendations…

  • Wherever possible, activities should be re-located to outdoor settings.
  • Indoor facility ventilation systems should be both operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within.
  • Designate a responsible person to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines are followed.
  • Consideration should be given on how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as seniors, those with disabilities and persons with compromised immune systems.
  • Remove unnecessary communal items such as candy, magazines, and complimentary phone chargers. Where disposable water cups are provided, place a garbage receptacle close by for any used cups.
  • Communicate to all participants (coaches/staff, instructors, officials, participants, and their guardians, volunteers) about the risk of COVID-19 and practices that should be undertaken to mitigate risk.

The guidelines go further, specifically detailing rules for screening, prevention, and outbreak management; mandatory mask use indoors; entrance signage; capacity and scheduling requirements to maintain physically distancing; cleaning and disinfection; locker rooms; participants and spectators; equipment; and food and drink.

The EOHU document states, “Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players, or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.” It also suggests, “participants should be encouraged to bring their own equipment.” Any shared equipment must be “cleaned and sanitized between users.” The EOHU also recommends that organizations develop a publicly-available written plan.

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Summerheights Golf Links eyes possible opening in near future

As announced on its Facebook page, Summerheights Golf Links is ready for a new season, as soon as the go-ahead comes down from the province and local health officials.

As with all golf courses (and sports facilities), closure is currently mandated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 20, the club noted staff continue to prepare the course.

“Summerheights is committed to a safe golf environment. Through this difficult and unprecedented time, that commitment includes the health and well-being of golfers as well as our team. Our thoughts are with those personally affected by the virus including their families, our most vulnerable citizens, and the incredible healthcare workers who are facing the pandemic on the front lines. They are true heroes.

We continue to maintain the course and are waiting on the go-ahead from government officials for an opening. We are getting new procedures in place to be prepared to keep everyone safe. There will be many changes but you will still be able to golf and have fun.

Please continue to stay home, stop the spread, and dream of golf. We miss you and look forward to seeing everyone soon.”

Summerheights statement on Facebook

Recently, some golfers were circulating an online petition to get courses opened. However, it appears that the provincial government and health officials are taking a cautious approach, with the only announcement of new guidelines for businesses currently open and those soon to be allowed to re-open (though we don’t know which they will be).

For now, the advice to all of us remains the same: stay home as much as possible, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, and practise physical distancing when out in the community by staying at least 2 metres from others.

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Lacrosse season remains on hold

As with all sports locally, lacrosse leagues are currently on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally, this applies to the Cornwall Minor Lacrosse Association, which runs a spring house league program, as well as to the junior ‘C’ Cornwall Celtics and the junior ‘B’ Akwesasne Indians.

Typically regular-season play would begin around mid-April, and the hope is that the respective leagues will see 2020 action at some point, but that all remains paused for the time being.

Officially, all in-person activities are suspended through to April 5.

OLA letter
Ontario Lacrosse Association letter
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North Glengarry township closes community, recreation facilities for COVID-19 precautions

As recently as Friday afternoon, North Glengarry’s recreation and community facilities remained open, as mayor Jamie MacDonald told me that the township was following the recommendation of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to cancel events with more than 250 people.

However, Friday evening, EOHU medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis issued an order to all municipalities within his territory (Cornwall, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, and Akwesasne) that municipally-owned community and recreation facilities must be closed to the public through to April 5.

As such, North Glengarry, on Saturday, issued notice to residents that its facilities would be closed.

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At the time of the EOHU letter, libraries were exempted from the order. However, Cornwall subsequently closed its library, and the SD&G Libraries system followed suit.

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March 13 EOHU letter to municipalities

Community and recreation facilities in South Glengarry and Cornwall were previously closed, effective March 13. For more background, please see this previous post.

Updates from area municipalities are being posted to the respective Facebook pages:

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Minor football announces temporary cessation of activities

Football Canada, the nation’s oversight body for the gridiron game, yesterday issued a recommendation to leagues and clubs across the country to consider “suspension of practice or play until further notice.”

The Cornwall Wildcats had begun pre-season training camp for the OFC provincial team under new head coach Alex Labonte. As well, the club was running speed and agility training, along with NCAFA teams pre-season practices. All of these activities are suspended, effective March 13.

Labonte adds, “It’s a temporary stop, hopefully.” At the OFC level, players are being encouraged to work out on their own. The head coach is also looking at holding meetings online, via FaceTime.

COVID-19

The Glengarry Gaels football club hadn’t yet begun its spring activities, president Ian Parent noted in an online post. The focus currently is on player registration for the spring outdoor tackle season.

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Gaels football since its 1980s hiatus. For player registration information, please see the club’s website here.

Wildcats spring team recruitment information can be found here.

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Char-Lan Skating Club abruptly ends season due to township rink closure

With South Glengarry announcing the closure of all recreation facilities for the next three weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, the Char-Lan Skating Club was forced to abruptly end its season, with means the cancellation of this year’s showcase event, which had been scheduled for March 29, at the arena in Williamstown.

Reportedly, the ice-making machine at the rink will be turned off this weekend.

The club has cancelled, as a result, all remaining skating days, in addition to the annual showcase, which skaters had been preparing for under the theme, ‘Ice, Camera, Action.’ The event is traditionally held at the end of each skating season, with stands packed full of family members and friends, as all athletes from the club skate in group performances.

Here’s the club’s official announcement:

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Char-Lan Skating Club announcement regarding COVID-19

The skating club says it plans to hold a small awards ceremony at a later date. In years past, awards have been presented to skaters on the ice, following the performances.

Assessment Day

Recently, the skating club held its assessment day for competitive skaters.

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Char-Lan Skating Club photo

From the club’s Facebook post: “A huge shout out to the Township of South Glengarry for all their hard work and support in preparing our facility and ice surface for this special day, and to our Assessment Coordinator and wonderful CLSC families for organizing a fun-filled after-party for all.”

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GSL postpones tonight’s dome match, suspends indoor season

The Glengarry Soccer League’s indoor season has been suspended, effective March 13, says Tammy MacSweyn, GSL vice-president.

The lone match on the docket tonight was the last senior men’s regular-season game featuring the Barflies and McCrimmon. Nothing was scheduled for the March Break (next week), with GSL action originally booked to resume March 22. However, that is now in limbo.

MacSweyn explains that the league is following the direction of Ontario Soccer, which announced last night, “Ontario Soccer has made the difficult decision to immediately suspend all sanctioned soccer activities in the province until further notice.” This includes “all competitions, training, coach and match official education, and team-building activities.”

Ontario soccer graphic
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North Glengarry recreation facilities remain open, South Glengarry shutters theirs

North Glengarry mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me that “At this point, we are still open,” when asked about the township’s recreation facilities and widespread shuttering of sports leagues across the country, along with facilities where large numbers of people typically congregate, due to concerns over COVID-19. However, he adds, “We have suspended the March break camps.”

March 16 UPDATE: North Glengarry facilities closed.

MacDonald goes on to say, “Well we are being guided by Dr. Paul [Roumeliotis, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health] … keep crowds under 250.”

Meanwhile, this afternoon, the township of South Glengarry announced in a press release that the municipality is “taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the risk in South Glengarry remains low, the municipality is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities and community centres will all be closed from Monday, March 16 to Monday, April 6.”

All events scheduled during this period will be either cancelled or postponed. The list of closed facilities in the south includes the Char-Lan Recreation Centre, Martintown Community Centre, Green Valley Community Centre, North Lancaster Community Centre, Paul Rozon Park building, and Jack Danaher Park building.

Facilities in Cornwall are also being closed: “In light of COVID-19, the City of Cornwall is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 5, inclusive. The Aquatic Centre is closed as of Friday, March 13 at 10:30 p.m.”

The EOHU states, “At the moment, the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus is considered low. However, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with our partners at the regional, provincial and federal levels to monitor the situation, and is prepared to respond to any potential cases in our area should they occur.”

To stay informed about the virus, please see this regular-updated information page on the EOHU website.

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