12 MAR 2020
LETTER FROM BCRU CEO Annabel Kehoe
With many developments over the last 24 hours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, please read the following carefully.
- Inter-Club Activity within BC for March 14 & 15 is Suspended
While the COVID-19 risk remains low within Canada and British Columbia, all inter-club activity is suspended for this upcoming weekend. This decision has been made in response to the concerns and well-being of all BC Rugby Members. This applies to ALL age-groups and divisions. Clubs may arrange supplementary training or inter-squad matches at their own discretion, maintaining safe and hygienic practices.
This cancellation gives us all an opportunity to practice self-care and BC Rugby will re-evaluate the situation early next week and provide a subsequent communication.
- Out of Country/Province Rugby Travel is Not Recommended to High Risk Countries/Areas
Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that the COVID-19 virus is now considered at the pandemic stage. We have been informed by Rugby Canada’s National Insurance Policy underwriters that this new status impacts all Members’ Emergency Travel Medical coverage. Specifically, since COVID-19 is a known pandemic, emergency coverage would not be considered unforeseen and therefore coverage would not apply and not be considered eligible at this point. This means, all other travel insurance remains in place except for the scenario of a travelling member becoming infected with COVID-19 while on that tour.
Therefore, any Clubs or Associate Members with an out-of-country tour planned in the immediate or near future should review the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisories to find out if your destination is affected by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and read the Safety and security, Entry/exit requirements and Health sections of the Government’s Travel Advice and Advisories. If you have any concerns or wish to discus the implications of this, please contact me directly via email or phone.
Any team currently on tour out of country will be contacted directly by Rugby Canada.
- Further clarity for Rugby in Washington State
In addition to our communication from yesterday, we are prohibiting any BC Rugby Club or Associate Member to take part in any rugby activities within Washington State while their event restriction remains in place.
- World Rugby Level 1 Referee Course planned for March 15 Cancelled
While we could modify the course to provide ‘social distancing’, we feel that it would compromise the learning experience. Therefore, this course is cancelled. We will aim to reschedule this and will be in contact with all registered participants to explore an alternative date.
All Clubs and Affiliate Members are asked to reinforce the following health advice to players, team personnel and spectators:
- Wash your hands frequently (it is the single most effective way of reducing infection spread).
- Practice other good hygiene habits:
- do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with your hands;
- cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow);
- restrict sharing of water bottles.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, e.g. tackle bags
- Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation).
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Contact 8-1-1 (HealthLink BC) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation.
BC Rugby will continue to monitor the situation, relying on the BC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Washington State Department of Health, and the World Health Organisation and their published guidance.
Best wishes & good health,
Chief Executive Officer, BC Rugby