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Ottawa Public Health reminding residents to be 'SportSMART' with COVID-19 restrictions eased

Outdoor hockey may now be technically allowed, but how residents go about playing is important, according to the health unit.
2021-02-17 Scouts Hockey Supplied (1)
Stock photo.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is asking residents to be extra conscious when participating in activities, now that the region is back in the 'orange-restrict' tier of the province's COVID-19 response framework and restrictions have eased on sports like outdoor hockey.

Before taking part in a sport, health officials say residents should assess the COVID-19 risks -- part of being 'SportSMART.'

For example, a very low-risk activity would be doing some skill-building drills alone, while a high-risk activity would be getting on a bus to participate in competitions involving teams across different areas of the province.

OPH breaks down its SportSMART idea like this:


Screen all athletes, coaches, trainers and parents. Perform a COVID-19 Self-Assessment before attending or participating in any activity. Stay home if feeling unwell or you do not pass the self-assessment.


Wear masks at all times even during physical activity if possible and safe.


Adapt to reduce contact and maintain physical distance.
• Arrive dressed for the activity to limit the use of lockers and change rooms.
• Change drills and play to allow for physical distancing.
• Avoid group celebrations and other customs (e.g. handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, chest bumps) to limit contact with others.
• Arrive no more than 5-10 minutes before the activity and do not linger in the facility or parking lot after the activity.


Reduce contact.
• Arrange for transportation to and from activities so that only members from the same household are sharing rides.
• Bring your own equipment and do not share your personal items (e.g. water bottle, towels, etc.).
• Limit yourself to one sport, team or league as a player, coach, or trainer.
• Physical distancing of two metres at all times.
• Consider increasing distance when available including on sidelines and the bench.
• Limit travel to other regions in the province and out of province.


Think about the risks and ways to be safer and Track your activities.
• Be informed about the risks of participating in any activity.
• Know your personal risk based on your age or chronic health conditions and decide if participation is right for you.
• Follow all health and safety protocols and strategies available.
• Make choices to reduce risks for yourself and your team.
• Track all your activities on a family calendar. This will help with contact tracing (if needed).


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Village Media Community Editor,
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