It was with much anticipation that the province watched on Monday, April 27th to hear about
the plans to restart and reopen Ontario after COVID-19. The impact has been great and continues to plague our province. Talk of reopening may be too soon but with hopeful optimism, we look at what we can perhaps start thinking about when the day comes.
Some summary points from the provincial framework:
- They will not consider a restart phase until 14 days of declining numbers of new cases and the number of daily new cases hovers around the 200 mark. Hopefully we may be able to achieve these targets sometime in mid-May.
- The restart will be slow and gradual stretching through 3 phases over at least 8 to 12 weeks likely.
- Reopening will be similar to the reverse order of closures; small businesses and some open spaces will be the first to reopen. For example, the number of people who can attend a funeral will increase from the current allowance of 10.
- At any time, officials will tighten restrictions if COVID resurges.
- Workplace safety is key ... to reopen you must have a plan in place to address hygiene and sanitization standards and physical distancing. (Ministry of Labour will be putting more inspectors in place to support and enforce.)
What this means for Sailing?
- We are hopeful that sailing as an activity will be permitted in the second phase of the three-phase restart. That is only if clubs can meet the requirements.
- Activities normally requiring several people to prepare the club facilities and equipment for the season will need to be rethought.
- The workplace expectations, when presented from the Ontario Health and Safety Associations, will need to be in place at all clubs, with employees and volunteers both being addressed.
What should we be doing now?
- We are waiting on guidelines for employees and volunteers for the phases of reopening from Health and Safety. We are also waiting on guidelines specific to sailing from Sail Canada with input from the other provinces. We need these guidelines before moving forward. Once we have them, Ontario Sailing will make them applicable for sailing in Ontario.
- Ontario Sailing will be focusing our next webinar on what is needed for reopening the sailing clubs in Ontario. We are hopeful that we will have the guidelines mentioned above and be able to break those down shortly. As soon as we have a better idea on that timing, we will confirm a date.
So, sign up for the next webinar when a date is confirmed. Ensure that the appropriate Directors who will need to set policy and expectations as well as the leaders who normally are hands-on at your club, especially in a different variety of times, also sign up!
Going Live at the Beginning of May - The Northern Channel
Over the last few weeks, there has been an incredible explosion of sailing content on the web from clubs and other great contributors in the sailing world. Whether it is technical sail shape webinars, rule sessions, tactical chalk talks, one design tips, or navigation seminars ... everything is out there and available. There is however nothing to bring it under one banner. Forged during the COVID-19 crisis, a task force was created to bridge the gap in current online sailing content and to consolidate and present it in a comprehensive fashion.
In a collaboration between Ontario Sailing, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and National Yacht Club, our new platform "The Northern Channel" will curate different types of online content for every type of sailor. Our goal is to engage the wider sailing community and form a collective of contributors across the province and country.
Watch our social media for more information and the launch coming next week!
A reminder that Ontario Sailing is continually evolving the plans for Instructor Courses for this spring, moving courses and/or components of courses online wherever possible. All registered participants will receive direct emails as their courses approach to be advised of the plans and options for their specific courses. Additionally, updates are posted on Ontario Sailing's COVID-19 webpage.