UPDATED INFORMATION ON PROTOCOLS AT THE CLUB
Good day everyone:
I wanted to bring some further clarity and direction to how the latest Provincial Health Order impacts the Curling Club. As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, masks have been made mandatory in indoor public spaces – that includes all areas of the VCC, including the ice surface, so we have expanded our protocols to require that masks be worn at all times when inside the building, with the exception of when seated at a table in the upstairs lounge.
While we are a “private” club, we are, for the purposes of curling, a “public space”. If we were to be designated completely private, our curling would be considered an “event”, which then would be prohibited entirely. It’s a fine line to walk, but this is the guidance we have been given, and frankly, to a certain extent it *is* the best of both worlds.
Masks must be worn while curling. There are now no exceptions to this – so that includes while sweeping and throwing. This does present some issues:
- Masks and glasses don’t mix very well. Glasses fog up, particularly when breathing even slightly heavier than usual. A couple of suggestions: try putting medical tape, or a bandaid, along the top of the mask where it meets the nose, rather than relying on the metal strip inside masks – this is Curl BC’s recommendation as well; some people have also found relief by hiking the mask up as high on the nose as possible, and then placing their glasses on top of the mask, rather than just behind.
- IF YOUR GLASSES FOG UP, STOP AND WAIT FOR THEM TO CLEAR.
- Peripheral vision can be impacted by masks. This is important to be aware of when on the ice surface. It’s doubly an issue when combined with eyeglasses. You must be aware of and willing to accept the risk that you will not be able to see as well as you usually do. This could pose a danger to yourself and others on your sheet. Be careful, be aware, and try to keep this top of mind when moving about the ice surface.
- Some cloth masks will impede breathing. Paper masks tend to allow more airflow – consider using them instead of reusable cloth masks if this could be an issue for you.
- Remember to pack more than one mask with you – a saturated mask is not protecting you or others.
The guidance we have been given by the Province will allow our bar upstairs to remain open. It is important to note that the Public Health Order indicates that people should socialize only within their household or their “core bubble”. If your curling team fits that definition, then please consider going up for pre or post game drinks. However, please do not stretch that definition – and please note that the VCC is not the “Bubble Police”; we do not know who is or who is not inside anyone’s bubble. We are relying on you all to make responsible decisions.
Remaining on the topic of the bar upstairs – it is more important than ever to continue to follow our protocols surrounding seating: there is to be no “table hopping” – once you are seated, that should be your table for the duration; only remove your mask when you are at a table; only move around when you are using the washroom, purchasing a drink at the bar, or leaving.
While the PHO restricts non-essential travel outside of our region within the province, we are further asking that anyone who *does* travel for an essential reason outside of the region, not come into the Club for 2 weeks, or until they have had a negative test result.
The protocols we have in place are working. We will continue to monitor them and evolve as the situation around us evolves. The takeaway for everyone reading this, should be: do not be the reason that this Club has to close.
We should all be thankful that we have the opportunity to curl in the existing climate. We are one of the few activities that could be considered “social” that is being permitted to continue, and it is because we have the ability to physically distance ourselves while on the ice, while wearing masks. This game that we all love can be an important part of our overall mental health in a time where interactions with others are limited, if embraced as “what it is” this season – an opportunity to get out of the house, spend some time being physically engaged (while physically distanced!), and share a couple of hours with friends.
For more information on the latest Public Health Order: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions#pho-order
For Curl BC’s latest information on the Public Health Order: