Updated COVID-19 Alert Levels and Club Guidelines May 26 2020
By ONZ Online Coordinator - Roger Woodroofe - Tue 26 May 2020 6:11pm
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Covid-19 Novel Coronavirus Information and Updates

Updated:  May 26 2020

Yesterday’s announcement by the Government said that “From 12 noon Friday 29 May 2020, gatherings can be held with up to 100 people“.  For Orienteering this is great news as it is a big improvement from the previous 10 person limit. 

Cabinet has said that it will again review the settings of Alert Level 2 on 8 June and have agreed that no later than 22 June, they will consider a move to Alert Level 1. 

Below are the updated Alert Level Guidelines and Club Level Two Event Guidelines. The full documents files can be accessed using the following Dropbox link:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6jsyyykkkzjsbeu/AAB-XFJ-VRtgxIJxCGy6dZfZa?dl=0 .  They are available on the ONZ website below.  We will also circulate the Alert Level Guidelines in the next ONZ e-newsletter. As we have done in previous emails, we would like to remind clubs of an overarching piece of advice given to sporting organisations by Sport NZ – do not to feel pressured to rush into running an event straight away – take your time and get it right!  

Kind Regards

Christo Peters                                                                         Peter Swanson
General Manager                                                                   Chairman

Guide to acceptable Orienteering Activities during Government Alert Levels

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Level 2 Restriction Club Event Guidelines

Version:           26 May 2020

Version:           26 May 2020 

These Level 2 Restriction guidelines supersede all previous versions of COVID-19 ONZ event guidelines.

These guidelines have been developed based on the advice issued by Ministry of Health and government, and based on experience applying the previous guidelines in the earlier level 2 lockdown period. The guidelines will be reviewed and where necessary updated as more information comes to light regarding Level 2 lockdown restrictions.

As previously stated, our goal is that no infections should happen whilst people participate in orienteering. We are sure all orienteering clubs will share this goal to keep all people safe in the sport. Under level two restrictions, all participants must continue to behave as though they might be infected with COVID-19 themselves. “Participants” includes any person who attends an orienteering event, including competitors, organisers/volunteers, and spectators.

Whilst the level 2 restrictions are in place, clubs will be able to resume some orienteering events, however they must be compliant with these restrictions and guidelines. Clubs should modify their calendar for the period the level 2 restrictions are in place and either:

  • Design their events so that they are fully compliant with the guidelines, 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.


Guidelines for Participants Attending Events

Clubs need to ensure all participants (competitors and organisers) are advised of the following restrictions. These should be communicated prior to the event (e.g. website, marketing and 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 prescribed 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, or who live with someone who fits this category, 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.

All participants must maintain 2 metre social distancing at all times with people not in their bubble.

All participants must follow good hygiene practices, including:

  • Using soap and/or sanitizers before, during and after the event
  • Ensuring coughs and sneezes are contained using your elbow or tissue/handkerchief
  • Avoiding spitting or blowing nasal mucus in places where others may run or come into contact with it.

Ensure contact details are provided at registration and that the club is notified when the participant has finished competing, even if they did not complete the course.

Comply with instructions provided by the club which are designed to keep people safe and ensure the social distancing and hygiene protocols are maintained.

Participants should also be reminded to operate within their comfort zone, not take unnecessary risks, and take personal responsibility for their own and others safety.

Compulsory requirements for running events

Contact tracking

Anyone attending your activity in any capacity must have their details recorded and retained and accessible for four weeks after the contact was recorded.  Clubs will need to decide on a recording system that will work for their event.  Clubs should record the following details:

  • Full Name
  • Contact details (email, phone number, address)
  • Arrival and departure time

Clubs might consider running events using only pre-entries under level two restrictions, which would enable easy capture of information for contact tracing and managing participant numbers. Specific tracking apps are now also available designed for contact tracking and could be used to complement the registration process.

Event numbers

Gatherings at level two are now limited to 100 people.  ONZ has sought clarification on what constitutes a gathering from Sport NZ. Our current understanding is that a group of people who are in a specific space at the same time. The example of a space Sport NZ provide is a series of sports fields. If each does not interact with the one next to it, the maximum sized gathering per sports field would be 100 people.

Obviously orienteering is somewhat different to a sports field, however we need to comply with the gathering size restriction of 100 in the context of our events. Based on our current understanding we believe clubs have the following options available for running events while complying with the gathering restrictions but still enabling larger numbers of people to participate in the sport:

  1. Having a wide time block – participants could be provided with a very wide time block, which could be a full day or several days, during which they could complete the event at their leisure. This type of event would unlikely have an event centre or organisers on location. Consequently, participants would need instructions on self-starting, maintaining social distancing and hygiene, and also safety. A phone number should be provided on the map for an organiser who could assist someone in the event of an emergency or issue.
  1. Having specified time blocks with specified numbers of competitors in each block – participants would be allocated a narrower specific time block in which they would have to start. This could be (for example) a 30 or 60 minute time block where a maximum of 100 participants could start. 2m distancing between those 100 (or less) people would need to be maintained at the start, during, and finish of the event, so the layout of the event centre would need to accommodate that. This type of event would require marshal/s in place to direct and manage participants and ensure that the maximum numbers are never exceeded in the event centre area or during that specific time block.
  1. Having different event venues – this could be multiple start/finish locations on a rogaine type course whereby competitors get spread amongst different start locations scattered across the map. Or it could be multiple events, such as separate events in different suburbs where smaller numbers are directed to each event.

In each of these scenarios, any congregation points such as parking, event centres etc must be managed to ensure that no more than ten people are gathered at any one time.

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:

  • Ensure the 2m social distancing rule is practiced by participants at all times
  • Managing or removing any bottlenecks or areas where congregating can occur – avoid on the day registrations (ideally pre-register), no results area, no mass starts, no socialising at the event
  • Ensuring toilet facilities, if provided, have cleaning products and protocols in place which enable sanitising after each use. Where this cannot be achieved, we recommend not providing toilet facilities
  • Avoid using clipper controls. Other touchpoints such as iPads or SI units and sticks should be disinfected before and after each 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, start and 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.
  • 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.
  • Ensure any hard surfaces such as tables etc are regularly disinfected and 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 >2m distance between people, and/or staggered starts.

App Based Events

Maprunner and other app-based event systems are increasingly being used and have real potential value during level two or higher restrictions due to the contactless nature of the systems. The ONZ Slack sharing platform, OChat, has a channel dedicated to these systems where orienteers have shared their experience of using them. We encourage orienteers and clubs to look into these app-based systems further and share with each other knowledge and information on how to run events effectively with these.

There may be other actions which clubs choose to take not listed here which could enhance how events can run under the current restrictions.
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.

Christo Peters                                                                         Peter Swanson
General Manager                                                                   Chairman

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ONZ COVID-19 Information