The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically affecting professional and amateur sports across the globe and the impact is also being felt locally.
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) announced on Thursday, March 12, that they are immediately suspending all hockey activities across the province.
“The Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s foremost priority is the health and safety of our participants, volunteers and hockey families,” OMHA officials said in a statement.
“We have been proactively working alongside Health Canada, Hockey Canada and local public health officials in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In light of recent events, the OMHA Officers have made the decision to immediately suspend all hockey activities. We will be proactive in informing our constituents on all upcoming protocols and required actions as they become available.”
The Wallaceburg Minor Hockey Association shared the OMHA’s statement on their website as well.
“It is with great disappointment to share this news with our membership,” Wallaceburg Minor Hockey officials stated.
Ian Avery, president of Dresden Minor Hockey, echoed the statements from the OMHA.
“With great regret, Dresden Minor Hockey would like to inform its members that all hockey activities will therefore be suspended indefinitely, we await future direction from the OMHA,” Avery stated.
The Wallaceburg Skating Club says their program will remain status quo for the time being.
“Activities will remain at this point as usual but skaters and guests are encouraged to participate in precautionary measures as suggested by Skate Canada,” Wallaceburg Skating Club officials said in an email to parents.
“If additional details are released we will advise by email ASAP. Please continue to check daily. If you choose to withdraw your skater from activities please advise us.”
Skate Canada officials say they have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation.
“We would like to reaffirm the health and safety of all our members and registrants is of paramount importance,” Skate Canada officials stated.
“As a national sport organization, we remain committed to ensuring a safe environment for all participants. As the global situation surrounding COVID-19 changes daily, our skating community is reaching out with questions and concerns. Skate Canada looks to the Public Health Agency of Canada, along with other public health agencies, for guidance as we look to maintain the health and safety of our skaters, coaches, volunteers, support staff and officials. Domestic activities and events at Skate Canada clubs and skating schools continue to run as normal.”
The Chatham-Kent Cougars football program is halting operations until April.
“Due to the recent developments with the COVID-19 outbreak and the precautions that have been implemented with the school board, Cougars Football will be postponing all clinics and workouts until April,” the club stated on social media.
“Thank you for your understanding.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday. Details, here.
The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit said they will continue taking proactive measures to combat COVID-19. Details, here.
We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.