EXCEPTIONNAL MESURES IN FORCE
Following a conference call held this evening with the NB Artistic Swimming executive, it is now clear to us that we are obliged to suspend the current competitive season in our province until further notice. We know that this decision has important consequences for each of you. We also want to reassure you that we will now be more actively involved in all developments on the subject, both in the world of sport, with the government and with Canada Artistic Swimming. As soon as we have more information, we will make it known through email, our internet site and Facebook. The department of health has released, that to prevent spread of COVID-19 social distancing measures are best for our communities. This means minimizing close contact with others during the peak of an outbreak, in addition to staying home when ill or present symptoms. The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health recommends that any non-essential mass gathering (150 or more people) be cancelled or postponed until we are able to better determine the risk to our population.
At the moment, in New Brunswick, the risk is still considered low. Therefore, cancelling practices is not recommended at this time. New Brunswick Artistic Swimming follows the guidelines of New Brunswick Public Health which assess the risk and establish the intervention plan for our province. Which means, if athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents have traveled outside the country please follow these new regulations as of today, March 12th, 2020; beginning immediately, all visitors including; coaches, athletes, parents and volunteers (the traveler only, not their contacts or family members) who have travelled internationally (this includes the United States) are to be restricted from entering the pool facilities in relation to their club for 14 days after they have returned to Canada. Anyone who presents symptoms of any respiratory illness following a trip or not are also prohibited from participating or attending practices. Parents, coaches and athletes are asked to take note and stay abreast of news and updates on the developments of COVID-19 with our sport.
The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture has sent a memo from the Director of Sport and Recreation, Jeffrey Leblanc concerning COVID-19, which stipulates that they do recognize the seriousness facing this disease and do understand the impact this might bring to our sports. At this time the Sport and Recreation Branch has no direct oversight role over sport and recreation governing bodies in our province and is unable to instruct or direct them on what decisions to make in relation to COVID-19 and their sport and recreation operations. They encourage to adopt all advised actions by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Public Health) announcements and recommendations.
After having a PTSO meeting last night with Canada Artistic Swimming, CEO Jackie Buckingham, Qualifiers in Markham, Ontario will not be cancelled unless Federal or Provincial Health Authorities mandate or strongly recommend events be cancelled, they will follow their guidance. If Qualifiers are cancelled, discussions are presently underway about how to deal with Nationals. Note all teams qualify regardless, and the discussion is
about solos and duets quotas. If the event is not canceled, teams/clubs can choose to attend or not to attend. If teams choose not to attend, other contingency planning is being done related to this situation and will be communicated by Canada Artistic Swimming. As of now athletes have the right to attend Qualifiers until further notice. It is at the discretion of the club, coach, parents and athletes if they want to attend or not Qualifiers.
As for our Atlantic Regional Championship, all teams/clubs qualify regardless, and a discussion/call will be soon held with other Atlantic Provinces as for the quota for solos and duets due to these circumstances and what their policies are touching COVID-19. We will monitor the development of this story and decisions will be made in the future with ARC committee as of now ARC is still not cancelled unless Federal or Provincial Health Authorities mandate or strongly recommend events be cancelled.
If you have any other questions or need any other information, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (506) 790-0013 and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
We thank you for your cooperation and understanding,
NB Artistic Swimming President