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2020-21 COVID Policies and Protocols

Last updated: 8/14/2020

State of Play Permitted by Massachusetts

Massachusetts has developed and utilized a science/data-guided plan to re-open all aspects of its economy.  For more information, please see the “Reopening Massachusetts” plan:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts.  At the moment, Massachusetts is in Phase 3, Step 1 of this plan.  Please note that on 8/7/2020 Governor Baker announced that, due to recent increased risk associated with decreased public vigilance, progress beyond this phase has been indefinitely suspended.

 

This plan considers youth sports in careful detail and classifies Ice-Hockey as a “High Risk” sport, which it characterizes as “Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants”.  

 

In the current phase, High Risk youth sports are limited to the following activities:  “Individual or socially distanced group activities (no-contact workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work, and drills)”.  The classification also imposes limits on the number of participants and aspects of the environment in which the game occurs.

 

In relation to the COVID crisis, ABYHA considers the MA Government as the primary authority under which it operates and is committed to strict adherence to the guidelines published by MA.

 

Please note that although both MA and USA Hockey (both private, non-government affiliated organizations) have been active in planning for hockey in the COVID environment, ABYHA will structure its hockey operations in line with regulations set by the State of Massachusetts.

 

Links to External Resources

 

MA State Guidelines, General COVID Info, Reopening plans

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

MA State COVID-Releated Youth Sports Info

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/executive-office-of-energy-and-environmental-affairs-eea-covid-19-guidance-documents#youth-and-adult-amateur-sports-activities-

MA State Youth Sports Guidelines for Phase 3, Step 1

https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-youth-and-adult-amateur-sports-activities-phase-iii-step-1/download

MA Hockey

https://www.mahockey.org/hockeyresources

MA Hockey Proposal To Allow Modified Hockey in Phase 3, Step 1

https://www.mahockey.org/news_article/show/1115729

USA Hockey COVID Info

https://www.usahockey.com/playersafety

MA COVID Travel Order

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

CDC Guidance on COVID Exposure and Positive Tests

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprevent-getting-sick%2Fwhen-its-safe.html

 

ABYHA COVID-Related Guiding Principles

  1. ABYHA considers the health and safety of its players, families, and their communities as its top priority and will demonstrate this commitment through its actions and policies.

  2. ABYHA does not engage in the regulation or provision of public health guidance.  Accordingly, ABYHA will defer to the local, state and federal public health guidelines with respect to COVID related decisions. 

  3. ABYHA, at a minimum,will adhere to all MA State "Reopening" guidelines. If necessary, ABYHA will impose further standards to ensure the safety of its members.

  4. ABYHA is committed to providing a safe atmosphere for our members to play hockey that meets or exceeds the current state guidelines.

  5. ABYHA players, coaches, and families will adhere to all public and rink policies regarding the COVID outbreak. These are requirements to participate in hockey and are not subject to debate or negotiation.

  6. ABYHA is committed to the continuance of its services for future generations of players.

  7. ABYHA is committed to assisting Nashoba Valley Olympia continue its operations for future generations of players

 

General Safety Protocols

  • The number of participant on the ice will be limited

  • Any player that shows the following symptoms should not participate in practices or games: Fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell/taste or diarrhea

  •  Coaches will track attendance of both players and parents attending practices or games

  • Players must bring their own water bottle

  • Coaches will wear face coverings for all practices and games

  • Face coverings and social distancing will be expected

  • All participants must have a COVID waiver on file

 

Practice Protocol

  • Players should not enter the rink until 10 minutes prior to scheduled start time

  • The number of participants on the ice will be limited

  • Face coverings for players are required entering the rink and while getting ready.  They can be removed immediately before entering the ice surface.

  • Players must enter and exit the rink fully dressed except for skates.

  • Players are strongly encouraged to put their skates on in the parking lot and to use skate guards so that they can enter/exit while wearing skates.

  • Players are strongly encouraged to leave their hockey bag in the car or at home.  If a player needs a bag to carry any loose equipment, they should use a small gym bag or backpack.

  • Everyone should follow the directions/signs installed by the rinks for entering and exiting - currently NVO requires entering  through the main entrance and exit by following the signs through Rink 3

  • Players and any accompanying spectator must sign in

  • Players must bring their own water bottle and it cannot be shared

  • Coaches must plan practice within the current guidelines published by the State of Massachusetts

  • Locker rooms are strictly off limits

  • Facility entrance by parents/spectators is strongly discouraged.  If a player must be accompanied, a single spectator per player is permitted. This spectator is strongly encouraged to exit the facility as soon as possible and must exit the facility not more than 10 minutes after entering unless the spectator has been provided with an accommodation approved by ABYHA.

 

Game Protocol

Games are not yet permitted under MA State guidelines.  When this changes, a protocol will be communicated.

 

Exposure Protocol

I think or I know I had COVID-19 and I had symptoms 

If a player or family member tests positive for COVID-19 or if a player or family member otherwise knows that they have COVID-19 and they have symptoms, the player may not participate in any ABYHA activity until:

  • 10 days have passed since the first symptoms appeared and

  • the player and/or family member has been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and

  • COVID-19 symptoms have improved (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

 ABYHA may require documentation from a doctor before allowing the return to hockey activities.  ABYHA may also consult with the local Board of Health before permitting the return to hockey activities.

 

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

If a player or family member tests positive for COVID-19, the player cannot participate in any ABYHA activity until:

  • 10 days have passed since the positive viral test for COVID-19 and

  • the player or family member continues to have no symptoms

If a player or family member develops symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.” ABYHA may require documentation from a doctor before allowing the return to hockey activities.  ABYHA may also consult with the local Board of Health before permitting the return to hockey activities.

 


 

Close Contact with a person who has COVID-19

The CDC defines Close Contact as: anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.  If a player or the family member of a player has a Close Contact incident, they must refrain from all hockey activities for 14 days.  

Exposed Asymptomatic or Negative Test

If a confirmed exposed player or family member (example: there has been a confirmed close contact exposure to someone who has been confirmed to have COVID) remains asymptomatic they must not participate in hockey activities for 14 days unless they have received  a negative viral (not antibody) COVID-19 test.

 

ABYHA may require documentation from a doctor before allowing the return to hockey activities.  ABYHA may also consult with the local Board of Health before permitting the return to hockey activities.

Symptomatic Players

If a player or family member shows any symptoms for COVID, they should not participate in hockey activities until:

 

  • 10 days have passed since the first symptoms appeared and

  • the player and/or family member has been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and

  • COVID-19 symptoms have improved (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

Or:

 

The player or family member receives a negative viral (not antibody) COVID-19 test.

ABYHA may require documentation from a doctor before allowing the return to hockey activities.  ABYHA may also consult with the local Board of Health before permitting the return to hockey activities.

 

Out of State Travel

Per Mass State Regulation, if a player or family member travels out of state to any state not listed as a lower risk state by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, they must not participate in hockey activities for 14 days, or produce a negative test result that has been administered within 72 hours of arrival to Massachusetts.

 

Notification of Exposure

If a player, family member of a player or the local Board of Health reports a positive or probable exposure to COVID, ABYHA will notify potential exposed families about the exposure while maintaining confidentiality.   If a player or family member reports to ABYHA a positive or probable exposure to COVID, it will be reported to the local Board of Health for further guidance.