Ottawa Public Health recommends temporarily pausing indoor contact and team sports – CTV News Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health has asked sports organizations in the city to consider temporarily pausing indoor sports and team activities.

A letter sent to organizations Friday says contact sports are considered high-risk activities when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19.

“Key risk factors for COVID-19 transmission include close contact, closed spaces, crowded places, prolonged exposure, and forceful exhalation, all of which are prevalent with indoor organized sport activities,” the note says. “In addition, participants may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, as they are often children and youth, who may not be fully vaccinated, and often not wearing a mask or maintaining physical distance when engaging in physical activity.”

This comes as Canada experiences a massive surge in COVID-19 transmission because of the Omicron variant. Case counts have skyrocketed, driving demand for testing even higher, leading Ontario to put limits on PCR testing. Anyone who can’t get a test is asked to self-isolate if they develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said in a year-end statement that residents should consider avoiding activities like indoor and team sports for the time being.

“Over the coming weeks, everyone in Ottawa must focus on reducing transmission of COVID-19 to get to the other side of this Omicron surge with a more vaccinated, and more protected community. We have a lot of control when it comes to protecting each other, our loved ones and community to help get through this surge,” she said.

OPH’s recommendation to pause indoor contact sports and team play is over and above provincial guidelines, announced Thursday, which permit “only low-contact indoor sports and safe extra-curricular activities,” as of January.

“Since the risk of COVID-19 transmission with indoor sports exist whether they are school or non-school based, OPH recommends that sports organizations temporarily pause indoor contact sports and team play to mitigate the spread and transmission of COVID-19,” the local health unit said.

In late December, the City of Ottawa announced it would require proof of vaccination for anyone 12 and older to participate in organized sports or use any City of Ottawa indoor recreational or cultural facilities. 

OPH recommends practicing individual sports, such as running or skiing, over team sports. If playing a group sport, it is better to play outside and choose a low- or no-contact game. When not playing, wear a mask, keep physically distant, and avoid sharing food and drink.

OPH has tips and recommendations for staying active and staying COVID-safe at the same time on its website.

Ontario reported a record 18,445 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including 1,482 in Ottawa, despite limits in testing capacity and changing guidelines. Another 85 hospitalizations were reported across the province. Ottawa Public Health reported a record 1,508 cases locally on Friday, with hospitalizations on the rise. 

In an interview with CTV News Ottawa, Etches said she was speaking with her provincial counterparts about stricter measures that would help keep community transmission levels down.

“I am talking to the province about really strong measures to limit all indoor sports activities that could lead to transmission to prioritize keeping schools open. I am hopeful that we will see some movement on this this week,” she said. “We know this is temporary, we’re going to make it through this Omicron wave, but right now it is important because it spreads so quickly, it will reach more vulnerable populations, we need to do more to limit that spread in the community.”

Infectious disease specialist …….

Source: https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-public-health-recommends-temporarily-pausing-indoor-contact-and-team-sports-1.5725369

Ottawa Public Health has asked sports organizations in the city to consider temporarily pausing indoor sports and team activities.

A letter sent to organizations Friday says contact sports are considered high-risk activities when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19.

“Key risk factors for COVID-19 transmission include close contact, closed spaces, crowded places, prolonged exposure, and forceful exhalation, all of which are prevalent with indoor organized sport activities,” the note says. “In addition, participants may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, as they are often children and youth, who may not be fully vaccinated, and often not wearing a ma…….

Ottawa Public Health has asked sports organizations in the city to consider temporarily pausing indoor sports and team activities.

A letter sent to organizations Friday says contact sports are considered high-risk activities when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19.

“Key risk factors for COVID-19 transmission include close contact, closed spaces, crowded places, prolonged exposure, and forceful exhalation, all of which are prevalent with indoor organized sport activities,” the note says. “In addition, participants may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, as they are often children and youth, who may not be fully vaccinated, and often not wearing a ma…….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.