COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Waconia Association (“WHA”) has implemented guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. These guidelines are taken from strategies set forth by the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) and its Guidance for Social Distancing in youth sports, the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”), USA Hockey, Minnesota
Hockey, and other local governing bodies. WHA will continue to update its COVID-19 Preparedness Plan as new guidelines are announced. WHA requires each of its members to follow these guidelines.
The information in this Preparedness Plan is not intended to be a substitute for any diagnosis, treatment or other professional medical advice. The information surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and WHA makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this Preparedness Plan. However, WHA will continue do its best to continue updating the Preparedness Plan and its members as to any changes mandated by the MDH, CDC, Minnesota Hockey, and other governing bodies. WHA continues to work closely with the Waconia Ice Arena (“WIA”) and is committed to providing a safe and clean environment for those who enter and use their rink. The rules and guidelines set forth in this WHA Preparedness Plan include the new COVID-related guidelines enacted by the WIA.. The rules set forth in WHA’s Preparedness Plan reflect Phase 2 of Minnesota Hockey’s Return to Play Guidelines, effective June 24, 2020. In the event Phase 3 is implemented, which will reflect more of a “regular season” per Minnesota Hockey, this Plan will be updated accordingly and the Association’s members notified immediately.
AT-HOME PREPARATION BEFORE YOU GET TO THE RINK:
- Coaches and players with any risk factors or illnesses should not participate in any on-ice or off-ice activity. Any player, coach, parent, or spectator exhibiting any symptoms or signs of an illness should NOT be in rink at any point.
- A self-check should be performed by each member prior to participating in WHA activities prior to coming to each event. Considerations include:
- Recent contact with infected person(s)
- Recent travel outside of Minnesota
- Symptoms of Illness
- All coaches and players must be registered with USA Hockey for the 2020-21 season and complete the USA Hockey waiver before participating in any WHA sanctioned activity.
- Families must provide the coaches and team managers with accurate contact information in case of an emergency, with the responsible parent/guardian able to be reached at all times, and be available to immediately return to the rink, in case of an emergency.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ARRIVAL AT WIA:
- MASKS: All players and coaches are required to wear a mask into and out of any facility. Masks are not required for players and coaches when on the ice. Once off the ice and after a helmet is removed, each player and coach must wear a mask. Coaches who are on the bench must wear a mask at all times.
- ARRIVAL: Players should arrive at the rink no more than 15 minutes before the start of each session. Anyone who arrives earlier than 15 minutes before each session needs to wait outside of the rink and be socially distanced from others.
- Players aged 11 and older should be dropped off at the rink and picked up afterwards for all practices.
- For players aged 10 and under, one parent or guardian is allowed in the rink to help tie skates and assist with other equipment needs. This parent/guardian may stay at the rink, following social distance requirements and while wearing a mask, to provide assistance to the player if needed during practice.
- Players should come to the rink fully dressed, with the exception of skates and helmets (although arrival in skates with proper skate guards is encouraged). Exceptions are made for goalies who will require additional equipment to be put on at the rink.
- Players need to provide their own water bottles filled at home and clearly labeled with player’s name. Do not use the water fountain at any facility.
- Please have all players use the restroom at home before practice and games to limit the use of restrooms at the rinks.
- LOCKER ROOMS: Players also need to maintain six-feet social distancing while in the locker rooms. Therefore, locker rooms should be occupied at limited capacity. Currently WIA is limiting locker rooms to 7 players per locker room.
- All incoming players need to wait until all players who were on the ice before them have vacated the ice, benches and locker room area before entrance. There should be no interaction between the two groups.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ON-ICE ACTIVITIES:
- Two pods of a maximum of 25 people per pod (including players AND coaches/volunteers/on-ice helpers) are allowed on the ice and in the official box or benches at one time. Each pod must be consistent with the same players and coaches skating in the same pod during each on-ice activity. The pods should not mix during on-ice activities. The names of all players and coaches in each pod will be recorded.
- While there may be times where there is close contact between players at practices, players should maintain as much social distancing as possible during practices. Coaches should plan drills and skill sessions accordingly while keeping social distancing guidelines in mind.
- Players should not leave the ice during practice unless absolutely necessary.
- Coaches should avoid physical contact with players whenever possible. If a younger player requires physical assistance, the coach should ask the player’s parent or guardian for assistance.
- At the end of practice, players should not help pick up pucks or other equipment. Each player should exit the ice one by one and maintain social distancing.
- Absolutely no spitting by any player, coach or volunteer is allowed in the rink or on the ice at any time.
- Each team is responsible for cleaning/disinfecting the bench area, locker room benches and door handles, and other areas utilized by players after each practice and game. Coaches and team managers will be informed by the Association on location and use of the cleaning equipment and products.
- Indoor dryland activities are not allowed at this time.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EXITING AFTER ON-ICE ACTIVITIES ARE COMPLETED:
- After practice, players should remove their skates and helmet and exit the facility immediately at the conclusion of their practice. This allows for the next group of skaters to enter while maintaining proper social distancing amongst all players.
- For players aged 10 and under, each parent/guardian must exit the facility immediately after practice with their player.
- For players aged 11 and over, parents/guardians must pick up their player outside of the facility at the end of practice. It is important that all parents/guardians are made aware of practice end times so they can be punctual in picking up their player. Players should NOT be hanging around the facility waiting for a ride.
- Coaches must remain at the facility until all players on their team are safely out of the facility and have been picked up.
- Players should not participate in team meetings, socializing or dryland activities after practice.
- Each player’s gear should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
LOCAL GAMES AND SCRIMMAGES:
- Local games and scrimmages are currently allowed.
- In the score/announcer box, one assigned adult is responsible for clock AND scoresheet with no one else allowed in the area. Masks must be worn in the score/announcer box.
- No more than two coaches are allowed on the bench at all times. Coaches must wear a mask. One coach must be in charge of the players to monitor players and keep them socially distanced. Coaches will be informed by the Association on alternative ways to keep the players socially distanced while on the bench and this Plan will be updated accordingly.
- During a stoppage of play caused by a save, the goalie must drop the puck on the ice for the official to retrieve.
- There should be no pre- or post-game huddles or post-goal gatherings on the ice.
- Pre-game and Post-game handshakes are not allowed. Minnesota Hockey suggests teams honor each other after the game with a “stick salute”.
- No more than 2 spectators per player are allowed at a game at WIA. All spectators must wear a mask and must maintain a social distance from other spectators/families.
- For away games, members must follow each arena’s guidelines as to number of spectators allowed, use of locker rooms, etc.
EMERGENCY PLANS FOR ILL PLAYERS:
- In the event a player arrives at a facility and has an elevated temperature, or in the event a player falls ill during an on-ice activity, the player will be removed from the ice and placed in a designated room at WIA with a supervising adult. The player’s parent/guardian in the emergency contact listing will be contacted immediately to pick up the player.
- If a player tests positive for COVID, the family must report the positive result immediately to WHA by emailing COVIDinfo@waconiaockey.org and the Association will report the case to MDH and local health officials. WHA will then work with MDH to identify those who had been in contact with the player and will follow up with those identified immediately.
- Please include the following information in the email;
- Player First, Last Name
- Date of Birth
- WHA Level/Team
- Date of Symptom Onset/Exposure
- Date of Test Collection (if applicable)
- Test Result
- Last Date on Ice
- Where the player/coach within 6 feet of anyone during practice/game for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more
- If a player tests positive for COVID and had recently been at the rink, the rink may close for up to 24 hours to allow for proper cleaning and sanitization.
- Prior to the start of the season, all coaches and team managers will be trained on how to handle COVID-related emergencies per Minnesota Hockey guidelines. WHA will continue to update its members as to any changes to the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. As information and guidelines from MDH, the CDC, and Minnesota Hockey continues to change, WHA will do its best to promptly update its Preparedness Plan and notify its members accordingly as soon as possible. In the event a member has any questions related to the Preparedness Plan, please contact WHA at: COVIDinfo@waconiahockey.org