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April 22, 2020 - Advisory on COVID-19

Sport Medicine Advisory Committee:

Disease Update

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is over 2.5 million with 690,000 recovered and 177,608 deaths. There are documented cases in over 213 countries or territories.  While some countries have slowed the doubling rate of new cases and deaths (now at approx. 10 days in Canada), other areas in the world are seeing these rates continue to accelerate. We are continuing to see prolonged second waves in countries that relaxed their restrictions. Canada's health officials are monitoring this closely as this will have an impact on how other countries, including Canada, manage restrictions and relaxations in the future. A number of European countries have started to relax movement restrictions (including small group activities) this week, however it remains too early to see what the impact of this is at this stage.

In Canada we have over 38,000 cases, 1,834 deaths and 13,000 (34%) recovered. Of the 23,000 presently active cases in Canada 97% are classified as mild. In Canada the testing rate has increased with approx. 6.4% of tests returned as positive. Of the positive cases 77% have no known contact. Although the curves continue to flatten in Canada there remains a lot of risk involved in relaxing restrictions too early and we can only reemphasize that in Canada there are limited resources available and asymptomatic spread is occurring. Continue to assume all others you may encounter may have COVID and act with that in mind and continue to maintain physical distancing vigilance. Despite media reports of some sports or leagues discussing June restarts, this is not imminent in Canada. It remains too early for us to start training in groups or shared facilities as the risks of transmission and becoming infected are still very high. It will remain entirely dependent on Local, Provincial and National public health regulations as to when small group in-person training will again be possible. 


As per the previous updates we strongly encourage athletes to take this enforced self-isolation period to work with their Coaches, HPDs, IST and CMOs to address any known biomechanical and physical deficiencies that are easily addressed with home training and NOT to be attempting to reach peak performance this summer (the rationale has been addressed in earlier releases). If you do have symptoms you should not train until you have contacted your Team Physician, CMO, CSI physician or Family physician to avoid any potential severe and long term complications etc.

Institutes and Training Facilities

At this stage all Canadians remain under national and provincial public health guidelines and as such all institutes and public training facilities remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Return to Training in Groups

As weather improves and as a result of physical distancing measures, COVID-19 pandemic infection rates in some parts of t he country are starting to improve. Many athletes and teams are looking forward to restart training in small groups, with the goal of competing foremost in many minds.

In Canada, as physical distancing measures remain in force, we are not currently ready to start group training at this point in time, and all decisions regarding this would ultimately be in conjunction with provincial / local health authorities, provincial / local government bod