The latest version of Orienteering NZ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Club Guidelines will be available at: https://www.orienteering.org.nz/covid-19/
These guidelines super-cede the guidelines issued on 17/03/2020, and are based on advisories issued by the Ministry of Health, as well as advice from Medical professionals associated with orienteering, and looking at the practices adopted by other sports in NZ.
This past week has seen a significant rise in the numbers of cases of COVID-19 in NZ. Whilst many of these cases are a result of overseas travel or visitors, it is clear that community transmission is highly likely to occur in the near future and we should now be behaving as if that were happening already.
We have also reviewed the success of the previous guidelines we issued in practice and believe they are not sufficient for keeping orienteers safe. Our goal is that no infections should happen whilst people participate in orienteering.
Consequently we now ask clubs to review and modify their calendars for the next two months and either:
- Redesign their events so that they are fully compliant with the guidelines below, or
- Where events cannot be run safely and in line with the guidelines, to cancel or postpone these events
If clubs are unclear on how they do this or have concerns with what we are asking, they should contact ONZ for further guidance.
CLUB EVENT GUIDELINES
Guidelines on Attendance to Events
Clubs need to ensure people are advised of the following restrictions on who may attend any event. This should ideally be communicated prior to any event (eg website, marketing or promotion), as well as at each event.
People should NOT attend any orienteering event:
- If they are unwell with a cough, fever or other respiratory symptoms.
- If they have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 until they have completed the 14 day quarantine period, even if they are completely symptom free.
- If they have returned from any overseas country until they have completed the self-quarantine period for 14 days, even if they are symptom free
- If they are undergoing COVID-19 testing, until they have received negative results and are symptom free
- If they have been advised to stay at home by a health professional.
We also advise competitors who fit within the higher at risk groups such as elderly or immunocompromised individuals to take particular care and/or make decisions on attendance with due consideration to the risks associated with COVID-19.
Anyone that presents themselves unwell and/or with any of the symptoms above, should be directed to leave the event and contact a health provider by phone.
Risk Management During Event
Event organisers should look at opportunities to reduce the risk to orienteers, officials and volunteers through taking sensible precautions and implement practices which reduce the chance of infection and which support social distancing. These include:
- Removing any bottlenecks or areas where congregating can occur – this means no registration, no event centre, no mass starts.
- Not using clippers or other touchpoints such as ipads etc. If SI cards are used, these must be disinfected before and after use.
- Not providing water on course or at start or finish for competitors. Competitors should bring their own water.
- Asking competitors to bring their own hand sanitisers.
- Providing hand washing or sanitising facilities at key locations including, toilet, finish areas.
- Asking all that attend to follow good hygiene practices and maintain physical space between each other.
- Providing refunds to those that withdraw for health reasons.
- Collect contact information from each competitor so that people can be contacted in the event of someone being infected coming into contact with others during an event.
- Reduce the opportunity for people to congregate including having no results areas (make available online), and no presentations at events.
- Maps should be kept by competitors following finish at all events.
- Providing some protective equipment, disinfectant and briefing to event volunteers, and ensure hard surfaces such as tables etc are regularly wiped clean.
- Where possible encourage people to enter and pay online, rather than manually handle cash. This could be in the form of giving entrants banking information to allow them to pay online before or after the event.
- Arranging starts and finishes to allow >1m distance between people, and/or staggered starts.
There may be other actions which clubs choose to take not listed here which could enhance how events can run under the current restrictions. This may even include using new approaches to events and innovations such as the MapRun app, which allows events to be organised and run with no contact between competitors and organisers
These guidelines will get reviewed and updated as things progress, so please be prepared for changes in due course. They will get posted on the website as well as sent directly to clubs.
Remember our goal is that no one should get infected with COVID-19 at an orienteering event, and we are relying on clubs to take this seriously and apply these guidelines accordingly.
Christo Peters Peter Swanson
General Manager Chairman