You will find in this message some updates for Gymnastics Ontario member clubs that are now in Stage 3 for Reopening our Province.
IMPORTANT: This message is NOT applicable to clubs in regions that are still in Stage 2. (see attached A Framework for Reopening our Province | Stage 3: P 6)
- Durham Region Health Department
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
- Halton Region Public Health
- Hamilton Public Health Services
- Lambton Public Health
- Niagara Region Public Health
- Peel Public Health
- Toronto Public Health
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
- York Region Public Health
You will find attached the Ontario Regulation 364/20 | Rules for Areas in Stage 3 that I will summarize for protocols to be used and updated for Gymnastics Ontario member clubs.
- Indoor Capacity: the first issue is the indoor capacity limits set out in this Order. You will see the maximum is 50 persons, “if the instructional space is indoors” (Section 5. (1) 2. i.) and/or “if any of the classes, organized programs or organized activities taking place at the time are indoors” (Section 8. (1) 4. i.) Gymnastics Ontario will reach out to the Ministry to once again ask if our Occupancy Rate (144 sq. ft per person) can be used in determining the maximum number of persons. A facility’s training space in excess of 7,200 square feet will be impacted by this maximum. This is currently part of the Order, as per Section 2. (1) “The person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that the business or organization operates in accordance with the applicable laws…” Clubs may also use the following link by clicking HERE to work with the government on a Stage 3 reopening plan to address this issue for clubs that are impacted by the maximum number of persons.
- In-person Teaching and Instruction: 5. (1) 1. “The instructional space must be operated to enable students to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the instructional space, except where necessary for teaching and instruction that cannot be effectively provided if physical distancing is maintained.”
- Limited spotting will be permitted for COMPETITIVE ONLY with some guidelines. By limited I mean where absolutely necessary at this time, there is no rush, there are no upcoming competitions for at least six months, in most instances progressions and basics are still only required. I also realize that some athletes may need a spot to get over a mental hurdle for a skill due to time off, so please use your best judgement to determine if a spot is absolutely necessary at this time.
- A face covering is strongly recommended (just a tad below being mandatory for greater clarity) to be worn by the coach (and not the athlete), whenever possible. Exceptions will be if the face covering might interfere with the coach’s ability to see or speak clearly, or becoming accidentally lodged in equipment while spotting. That being said, I strongly suggest that you acquire a mask that is snug to your face to ensure that a mask can be worn when spotting.
- A mask must be worn when a coach is manipulating an athlete’s body alignment and/or positions when the athlete is in a static, or relatively static position. For example, a kick to handstand, or body position hold, and etc. However, at this time verbal cues should be your first option to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
iii. The coach and the athlete should both ensure their hands have been properly washed and/or sanitized before and after a skill is spotted as another preventative measure.
- No spotting will be permitted in any Recreational Programs through to September 4, unless required to save an athlete from an injury. This includes regular recreational classes, summer camp programs, private lessons, birthday parties, drop-ins, and any other recreational program not mentioned.
- Birthday Parties are now permitted. However, physical distancing must be adhered to, there cannot be any spotting (unless required to save an athlete from an injury), maximum numbers in the facility must be taken into consideration as well as cleaning protocols.
- Non-Member Facility Rental: clubs are now permitted to rent their facility to non-members provided that all of the GO registration & policies, physical distancing, hand-washing, equipment cleaning and other guidelines are followed. Since these persons are not part of your competitive program then spotting is NOT permitted while they are renting your space.
- Cleaning Requirements: please refer to Section 6. (1) (a), (b) and (2) and Section 8. (1) 7. since these have been updated from the previous Order. However, as per Section 9. (1) clubs must still follow the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps guidelines for clubs who are offering summer camp (see attached document) which has more stringent requirements for cleaning between cohorts then does the Order for Stage 3, albeit not by much.
- Spectators: see Section 4. “The total number of spectators permitted to be at the facility at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the facility, and in any event cannot exceed,” i. “50 spectators, if the spectators will be indoors,”
- I would suggest using our occupancy rate calculation of 144 sq. ft. per person to determine the maximum number of spectators allowed in your viewing area.
- However, as per the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps, Page 6, 22. “Programs must keep daily records of anyone (e.g. camp participants, parent/guardian, staff and visitors) entering the program setting who stays for 15 minutes or longer. Records (e.g. name, contact information, time of arrival/departure, screening completion, etc.) must be kept up to date and available to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case or outbreak.”
- I would suggest to clubs to not allow spectators for the time being, if your club is offering summer camp. In the current regulations a parent of a summer camp participant needs to be screened while a competitive or regular recreational parent does not which will only lead to confusion or frustration on behalf of families.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or the staff if you have any questions about the reopening guidelines. However, please take a few moments to read and review each of the attached documents prior to submitting your questions because in most instances the answer to your question is contained within the information you have been provided. I know this can be overwhelming, but I can say that everyone has been doing an amazing job of sharing, communicating and clarifying their concerns as we continue to reopening our gymnastics clubs!