Proposed Coronavirus Guidelines for NSCF Training Activities
Below is a coronavirus alert level chart from the State of Alaska used by the Alaska School Activities Association (see http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/community_perspectives/tough-decisions-ahead-for-alaska-youth-sports/article_56316c0a-ce1f-11ea-a885-37e3a69a42d4.html) to recommend guidelines for sports activities at differing levels of coronavirus incidence. The chart uses cases/100,000 population (averaged over the preceding 14 days) to allow proper statistical comparison between localities of different populations; this data, updated daily, is available online from the State of Alaska at https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/datasets/table-2c-geographic-distribution-of-case-rates/data .
For example, as of Aug. 2, in the last 14 days the state reported 88 new cases in the FNSB for an average of 6 cases/day; with a population of 95,898 this translates to an average daily incidence (case rate) of 6.6 cases/100,000 population, Intermediate Alert Level in the table above. For the same period the Municipality of Anchorage reported 916 new cases for an average of 65 cases/day; with a population of 291,841 this translates to an average daily incidence of 22.4 cases/100,000 population, High Alert Level.
The Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) recommends all high school sports transition to outdoor conditioning only with social distancing at the High Alert Level (>10 cases/100,000 people per day averaged over 14 days). Guidelines adopted for NSCF training activities are:
● A fourteen-day average of less than one case /100,000 population: business as usual, including indoor practices, and use of the cave.
● A fourteen-day average of one to less than five cases/100,000 population: outdoor activities only, groups of up to 15 permitted with social distancing of 10 feet, masks to be worn when not actively exercising.
● A fourteen-day average of five to less than 15 cases/100,000 population: outdoor only, groups of up to 10 permitted with social distancing of 10 feet, masks to be worn when not actively exercising.
● A fourteen-day average of 15 or greater cases/100,000 population: online only , for instance weekly emails containing training schedules, phone calls to check in and, possibly, meeting outdoors in very, very small groups (two or three athletes) to check in with a coach or go for a run or a rollerski (or a ski, once it snows). Also, as long as the coaches are on payroll, email or phone calls to check-in and offer guidance to the athletes.
The fourteen-day average daily incidence per 100,000 will be evaluated weekly and activities adjusted according to the guidelines above. This policy may be modified in response to changing circumstances with the pandemic.
In addition to the numerical guidelines above, coaches and athletes will abide by the following:
● Keep cohorts the same (no switching between training groups) and, if possible, keep siblings in the same cohort to limit the extent of possible exposure to the virus.
● Coaches to exercise social distancing from athletes, wear masks when feasible, and to monitor compliance of same by the athletes.
● No indoor gathering before or after outdoor training.
● If coaches or athletes are sick, even with cold-like symptoms (for most people COVID-19 is a cold), stay home. Symptoms also may include fatigue, sore throat, loss of sense of smell/taste, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in addition to fever/chills/cough/muscle aches/shortness of breath. If you develop any of the above symptoms contact your healthcare provider for appropriate evaluation and testing, if indicated. Coaches and athletes who develop symptoms and tested negative should coordinate with their health care provider for return to activity guidelines. Coaches and athletes who have had close contact with a person that has tested positive should be quarantined for 14 days from the time of exposure and should contact their health care provider to see if testing is indicated. Coaches and athletes who have tested positive should contact their health care provider for guidance on discontinuation of isolation and return to activity (as of Aug. 2nd the CDC recommendations are A.) 10 days since time of test if asymptomatic or B.) 24 hours without fever, improvement of symptoms AND at least 10 days since onset of symptoms). Athletes (or their parents) are required to report any of the above to a coach immediately and coaches will report athletes or themselves to a member of the SDOC.
The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of cross country skiing. For more information visit us at www.nscfairbanks.org or find us on Facebook.