By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
March 5, 2021

This week, the Province of Manitoba announced that as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 5, the following changes to public health orders will be in place and will expire on March 25:

  • indoor recreation and sporting facilities such as gyms, fitness centres, rinks, courts, fields, ranges, studios, clubs, pools and centres to open at 25 per cent total capacity, with public health measures in place including for spectators, common areas and locker rooms. The requirement to provide one-on-one instructions has been removed;
  • gym, fitness centre and pool users must continue to wear a mask while working out and in all other areas of the facility, with the exception of while in a swimming pool;
  • day camps for children to operate at 25 per cent capacity with other public health measures in place;

Click here to view the press release with full details from the announcement.

The current orders have been updated and made available online here (PDF). Those pertaining to sporting activities include:

ORDER 13

  • 13(1) Outdoor sporting facilities may open, subject to the requirements of this section.
  • 13(2) Persons must not engage in outdoor sporting activities as part of a group of more than 10 persons, unless all persons in the group reside in the same private residence or they are participating in an organized practice, game or competition at an outdoor sporting facility.
  • 13(3) Organized practices, games and competitions at outdoor sporting facilities may take place, but the operator of a facility must ensure that no multi-team tournaments are permitted at the facility.
  • 13(4) Warming shacks, washrooms and other indoor facilities associated with outdoor sporting activities may open if the operator of those facilities:
    • implements measures to ensure that members of the public are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other members of the public at the indoor facilities;
    • limits occupancy to all indoor facilities other than dressing rooms to 25% of the usual capacity; and
    • limits the number of persons in dressing rooms to 50% of the usual capacity or to a number that ensures that all persons in the dressing room are able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other persons, whichever is lesser.
  • 13(5) Ice fishing shacks may open if all persons using the shack reside in the same private residence or have been authorized to attend that residence under Order 1.

ORDER 14

  • 14(1) Indoor sporting facilities, including swimming pools, may open if the operator of the facility complies with all requirements of this Order.
  • 14(2) Individual play, group and individual instruction, and team practices may take place at an indoor sporting facility but no organized team games or tournaments may be held at the facility, except as authorized under Order 16.
  • Sport Manitoba note: we want to reinforce that no organized team competition or tournaments are allowed at this time. 
  • 14(3) The operator of an indoor sporting facility must:
    • ensure that any group of persons participating in a sporting activity at the facility, excluding coaches or instructors, does not exceed 10 persons;
    • take reasonable measures to ensure that there is no interaction between different groups of participants who are engaging in a sporting activity at the facility at the same time; and
    • limit the number of persons in dressing rooms to 50% of the usual capacity or to a number that ensures that all persons in the dressing room are able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other persons, whichever is lesser.
    • Sport Manitoba note: we want to clarify that you can have multiple groups of 10 participating in a sporting activity at once, as long as you do not exceed facility capacity limits and do not intersect with other groups
  • 14(4) The operator of an indoor sporting facility must:
    • implement measures to ensure that members of the public at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other members of the public at the facility, excluding participants engaged in a sporting activity; and
    • limit occupancy to all portions of the facility other than dressing rooms and the areas where sporting activities are conducted to 25% of the usual capacity.

Sport Manitoba facility updates under these new public health orders: 

  • Sport Manitoba Performance and the Flex Space on L3 are open and are available for booking Monday – Friday.
  • For Performance booking inquiries please contact performance@sportmanitoba.ca
  • For Flex Space booking inquiries, please contact steven.gzebb@sportmanitoba.ca
  • The Sport Manitoba Fitness Centre is open as of March 5 at 25 per cent capacity.
  • Our courts will be open for bookings beginning on March 8.
  • Sport Manitoba Clinic, Konica Minolta Print Hub, and the Parkade continue to be open, while all meeting rooms remain closed to bookings.

We thank you for your cooperation.

 

October 22, 2020

The provincial sport body makes the final decision on return to play plans for their sport. Government does not. Restrictions and guidelines put in place by government and Health Authorities are built into those plans. Organizations can strengthen the regulations if they wish. To review a return to play plan, please visit the provincial sport body’s website.

 

October 8, 2020 – Public Health Message

Sport Manitoba received the following information from Public Health:

People engage in a number of different types of recreational activities on a regular basis.  Public health officials recognize the importance of physical activity in one’s everyday life and want to encourage all Manitobans to find the safest ways to remain physically active during this pandemic. However, the risk of spreading COVID19 in those who participate in recreational activities is a valid concern.

Different sports have different levels of risk.  For example, playing table tennis with someone where physical distancing can be maintained for the entire game likely represents a lower risk activity. Alternatively, a hockey game with ongoing interactions throughout the game would represent a higher risk activity.  Regardless of time, a single interaction of less than two metres/six feet (such as a body check) could potentially lead to the transmission of COVID-19.

Please be advised the definition of a close contact that is used in public health includes:

  1. close contact (within two metres/six feet) with a confirmed or probable case someone for 15 minutes or more;
  2. or has had direct contact with infectious body fluids of a probable or confirmed case regardless of contact time.


It is important to note that if a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was involved in a recreational activity during their communicable period, public health investigations would include everyone involved in that event. This includes before, during and after the event, and would involve players, coaches, spectators, officials and anyone else who may be at risk.

Following the risk assessment, public health may determine there was zero risk and there would be no need for anyone to self-isolate (quarantine). Or, the risk assessment could determine that all those involved would be at risk and would have to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days.

Example
A game is played where physical distancing was practiced before and after the game. However players awaiting their turn to actively participate (sitting on the bench) did not physically distance during the game.  A player subsequently becomes COVID-19 positive and it was determined that during the communicable period they participated in the game.  Public health may deem all those on the COVID-19 positive player’s team, including coaches and affiliated staff, to be close contacts and therefore everyone may have to quarantine.

It’s important to note that the use of a mask would not affect the public health investigations. Public health recommends (and sometimes requires) using a mask to help lower the risk of transmission.  But because the science is still evolving, it is not yet known if a mask has more benefit for others or the person wearing the mask. In addition, there is no way to know if someone used their mask properly. This means public health can not be certain that wearing a mask has provided sufficient protection to lower the risk assessment. This doesn’t take away from the advice to wear masks to lower everyone’s risk.

As the risk of COVID-19 can never be zero we must weigh the benefits and risks in participating in recreational activities. Public health officials have made recommendations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for those involved in sport. For more information, visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/coronavirus/activities-guidelines.pdf

These guidelines have been developed to lower the risk of COVID-19 as much as possible, given the risks that will continue to exist in group physical activities.  Following the guidelines is essential to lower everyone’s risk of being infected.  However, even if all guidelines are followed, there may still be times when public health will consider an exposure to be high enough risk that participants will be required to self-isolate (quarantine).

For accurate, timely information on COVID-19, you can also visit Manitoba.ca/covid19.