UPDATE #21 | 15 July 2020
Advisory on COVID-19
Please Note: The SMAC COVID-19 Advisory will no longer be released bi-weekly and will be issued ‘as required’. Please continue to request information via the SMAC CMOs and/or members of the COVID-19 Return to Sport Task Force.

Disease Update
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is over 13.5 million with over 7.9 million recovered and 582,000 deaths. Mortality rate in Canada is 8%. In Canada we have over 108,450 cases, 8,800 deaths and 72,000 (66%) recovered. Of the 27,500 presently active cases in Canada 97% are classified as mild. The number of recovered continues to rise and more extensive testing in many provinces has not been finding significant additional cases. The curve has been flattened for the most part and local health authorities are zeroing in on flare ups to limit their spread. In many of the countries affected before Canada there have been reports of second wave and some clusters of COVID-19 many times associated with larger gatherings. In some countries the numbers of cases are at all-time highs and this reinforces the need to remain careful and follow recommendations on hand washing, physical distancing and use of masks which is now mandatory in some provinces in Canada and many countries in the world.

This progressive relaxation of restrictions will have an impact on training and access to facilities, but timing will differ across regions and across different sports. Each sport is working on plans and using the guidelines as set out in the RSAT (Return to Sport Assessment Tool) and the recent publication from the High-Performance Return to Sport Task Force.

Institutes and Training Facilities
At this stage all Canadians remain under national and provincial public health guidance and with the recent changes all of the institutes are open. The timing and level of operations possible will be dependent on the local restrictions in place at the time and vary from one institute to another. It is recommended that athletes and sports check with their institute for details of services available and how to access them.

Travel for Purposes of Training
After review of the provincial regulations, SMAC has put together the following guidelines on traveling within Canada from one jurisdiction to another for the purposes of training. This is a fluid situation and we recommend that the links be checked as provinces are changing their recommendations as the situation allows. This has been updated as of 15 July 2020. ( Provincial Travel Guidelines )

Many provinces have ramped up their testing protocols for the public and results are often available within 24 hours. SMAC does not recommend routine testing of asymptomatic individuals and the process of testing of individuals with symptoms may vary from one city to the next. If anyone has symptoms, they should contact their medical team and not proceed to training or contact with other members of their team until advised it is safe to do so by their medical team. Decisions on testing and appropriate follow up, quarantine and effect on team training would be sorted on a case by case basis.

The travel ban across the Canada-US border has been extended until late August and will be reassessed every 30 days. As teams start to relocate and gather for group training and airline travel opens up within Canada the following recommendations will assist travellers:
  • Check the local quarantine regulations immediately prior to departure.
  • Wear a mask at airport and on flight. Medical grade or N95 masks are not necessary.
  • Wash hands frequently in airport, once settled in seat use hand sanitizer and wash hands again upon leaving plane and airport.
  • Practice rigorous cough hygiene at all times.
  • Using a wipe to clean the arms of the seat, do not use the seat back table or entertainment system unless necessary and wash it with a wipe before using it.
  • Choose a window seat as this minimizes contacts with others.
  • Wipe down luggage including hand luggage once retrieved and exiting airport and any public transport such as a bus or taxi.

CCES Update
CCES has commenced urine sampling as of 13 July 2020. Athletes in the registered testing pool should have received notification of the restart and protocols involved

The links below provide additional valuable information and a link to the eLearning module.
CCES COVID-19 page:  https://cces.ca/covid-19-procedures  

Emotional Triggers Regarding Games Postponement
The Olympic Village was scheduled to have opened on the 14th of July, bearing this in mind this may trigger a number of reactions as described by the Mental Health Task force, Pandemic Response Group.
Please read HERE for more information on Emotional Triggers.

We would like to thank Dr. Karen MacNeill and the Mental Health and Performance Taskforce, Angela Dufour for the performance dietician updates and Shelley Milton from OTP for the administrative support in the development of the Advisories.   
Updated links from the Government of Canada and WHO
Further Questions:
Further information about COVID-19 may be obtained from your NSO Chief Medical Officer or Team Physician, or the Chief Medical Officers of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee.