ONB COVID-19 Return to Play

Background

The Orienteering New Brunswick COVID-19 Return to Play Policy was developed to assist organizers plan and manage orienteering activities in a safe manner. Currently, only self-directed and club level orienteering activities will be permitted. Large competitive events are not permitted.

In order to meet the physical distancing and non-contact guidelines for COVID-19 prevention, Orienteering Canada requires several modifications to the regular orienteering event format. This policy was generally derived from information in the Orienteering Canada Management Plan for COVID-19 Risks (Orienteering.ca, August 2020).

Definitions

Self-directed activities include activities where:

  • there are no ONB officials on-site;
  • you participate by yourself, on your own time;
  • courses have been made available over either a single- or multi-day period.

Club activities (as modified from traditional orienteering events) include activities where:

  • there are one or more officials on-site;
  • there is a limited start window;
  • participation in the activity is over a restricted (less than one day) time interval.

Reference Documents (from Orienteering.ca)

For Participants:

For Organizers/Officials:

Self-Directed Activities (i.e. no officials on-site)

  1. Participants are responsible for their own safety, both for normal and COVID-19 related risks while participating in self-directed activities. Refer to Orienteering Canada’s Guidelines for Individuals for Club Orienteering Activities.
  2. ONB officials shall follow normal ONB and Orienteering Canada practices when preparing and setting courses for self-directed activities to account for normal risks and requirements.
  3. At all times, officials will follow local (provincial, municipal, etc) guidelines with respect to physical distancing, hygiene, and other COVID-19 related precautions.
  4. Excluding permanent courses, all participants must be members of a recognized orienteering club and have signed the appropriate Orienteering Canada Waiver or Assumption of Risk form.
    NOTE: The Declaration of Health is not required as participants are isolated and not interacting with others.

Club Activities (ie official(s) on-site)

  1. Participants are responsible for their own safety, both for normal and COVID-19 related risks when participating in training activities. Refer to Orienteering Canada’s Guidelines for Individuals for Club Orienteering Activities.
  2. ONB officials shall follow normal ONB and Orienteering Canada practices when preparing and setting courses for self-training activities to account for normal risks and requirements.
  3. At all times, officials shall follow local (provincial, municipal, etc) guidelines with respect to physical distancing, hygiene, and other COVID-19 related precautions.
  4. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Orienteering Canada has made several modifications to normal practice which are laid out in the Orienteering Canada Management Plan for COVID-19 Risks. Some of the relevant topics are highlighted here:
    • Activity Format: All orienteering will be club level activities only. Large competitions (e.g. Provincial Championships) will not be sanctioned or permitted. Although travel to external events is discouraged, it is allowed within the “Atlantic bubble.”
    • Rules and Regulations: All regular Orienteering Canada standards are required to be met including those relating to land use permission, official certification, membership and waiver requirements. [ONB Note: “Officials” includes Officials-in-Training acting under supervision of a certified Official]
    • Registration: registration, including any payment is ideally done online, typically from home, sufficiently far in advance of the event so that organizers can plan appropriately.
    • Declaration of Health: [NEW] Every individual at an event will be required to sign a Declaration of Health. The Declaration will be available in advance but must be signed on the day of the activity.
    • Waiver / Assumption of Risk Forms that refers to COVID-19: The Orienteering Canada Waiver forms (adults) and Assumption of Risk forms (minors) must be signed when an individual registers with the organization for the first time each year. They do not need to be signed prior to each event.
    • Timing and Results: Sportident timing is now permitted. Participants should be reminded to NOT touch the control unit when punching.
    • Recording Starts and Finishes: To know that all participants who started have returned from the course, it is imperative to keep a record of every participant who starts, and to check them off when they return. If used, Sportident timing provides this function.
    • Crowd Size:  To meet requirements for group size and physical distancing, there may need to be a cap on the number of participants such that the guidelines of your local health authority/government are not exceeded.
    • Record Keeping:  For insurance purposes organizers will need to keep records, electronic or written, of participants and officials for a minimum of 5 years (documents may be scanned). See the Orienteering Canada Risk Mitigation Tool spreadsheet for details.
  5. Organizers should complete a post activity report on the activity to evaluate control measures used and their effectiveness and make recommendations if necessary.

Risk Mitigation

  1. Refer to the Orienteering Canada Risk Mitigation Tool spreadsheet for risks and possible mitigations for common orienteering event risks related to COVID-19. The given list of Absolute Requirements must always be followed.
  2. Always respect and follow the guidelines, recommendations and regulations from local, provincial and federal health authorities.
  3. In general, the areas with the highest risk are Registration and Start/Finish/Arena. Consider practices to reduce risk to organizers and participants, including:
    • Registration/Fees: self-serve Declaration of Health, online registration/waiver, exact payment
    • Map Distribution: self-serve map pick-up
    • Results/Refreshments: do not provide refreshments or post results on-site
    • Loitering: discourage post-event loitering
  4. Participants should be encouraged to wear appropriate clothing (eg long sleeves and pants) when participating in orienteering activities.
  5. At all times, follow NB Public Health recommendations to help protect yourself and others:
    • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Practice coughing/sneezing etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
    • Wear non medical masks (aka community face masks) when out in the community when physical distancing is challenging.