March 16th COVID-19 Update

Athletics Ontario is committed to supporting the needs and safety of our members and encourages everyone to stay well informed of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. In light of this situation, Athletics Ontario is attempting to provide our members with significant COVID-19 updates that pertain to the Ontario track and field community.

As of March 16th, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Ontario Government have announced the suspension of all travel into Canada from non-Canadians. Exceptions will be in place for U.S. citizens, diplomats, crew and immediate family members of citizens. In addition, Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have contracted the virus abroad will not be allowed re-entry into the country. Now, everyone attempting to board a flight to Canada will be required to complete a basic health assessment based on guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
For more information from today’s conference please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cbsa-border-airports-screening-trudeau-covid19-coronavirus-1.5498866.

As of Friday, March 13th, the Toronto Track and Field Centre will be closed as a preventative measure related to COVID-19 until and including April 5, 2020. Many other community and recreation facilities have also closed. We advise all AO members to be mindful of their training environment. We ask that you respect facility closures and avoid training in large group settings.

According to the March 15th COVID-19 update by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, ALL travel for training or competition other than compulsory Paralympic or Olympic qualification in 2020 should not be considered for at least 30 days.

Athletics Canada made the following announcement on March 12th. As a consequence of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, AC is undertaking the following actions, effective immediately: ​​

  • All athletes that are currently training/competing outside Canada (unless residents of another country) should return to Canada as soon as possible.
  • No travel will be authorized/supported by AC outside Canada for athletes, coaches and support staff through at least April 12/2020.  
  • NCAA based athletes should follow their school’s protocols.  
  • For any athlete and/or coach who decides to disregard this travel directive, there will be no AC staff support and/or financial support (such as CAPP Enhanced Funding support).  There is also a growing risk that insurance coverage will not be in force should this advisory/guidance be disregarded.
  • Due to the Government of Quebec cancelling all gatherings of more than 250 people, the Canadian Indoor Championships, scheduled for March 21-22/2020, have been CANCELLED.

Our 2020 outdoor championship dates have been set, and are intended to start at the beginning of May. Currently, all events for the spring and summer will be held as scheduled. With our first event in Ontario not scheduled until May, we will be monitoring the ever-changing situation that surrounds COVID-19 very closely, and we will update our members when appropriate as we get closer to the outdoor season. All decisions moving forward will be made with the well-being of our members at the forefront.

All team Ontario activities will be cancelled until the end of April. Unfortunately, this includes the cancellation of our team Ontario & Masters Warm Weather Training Camp, previously set to take place April 25-May 3.

We are currently monitoring the status of upcoming coaching courses for the month of April. Until further notice, all coaching courses will continue as scheduled. For a full list of upcoming courses, and to stay up to date with possible cancellations please visit our website.

During this time, Athletics Ontario staff will be working remotely. As we are out of office, please understand that response times may be slower than usual. Our staff members can best be reached via email. Please find below a directory of staff emails:

Paul Osland
Chief Executive Officer
paul.osland@athleticsontario.ca

Anthony Biggar
Manager of Programs and Services, Membership
anthonybiggar@athleticsontario.ca

Randolph Fajardo
Competitions and Technical Specifications Manager
randolphfajardo@athleticsontario.ca

Kolton Kowalchuk
High Performance Manager
kolton.kowalchuk@athleticsontario.ca

Saheed Khan
Coaching Coordinator
coaching@athleticsontario.ca

Sheryl Preston
Road and Trail Running Coordinator
sherylpreston@athleticsontario.ca

Shehara Vanniasinkam
Office Manager, Finances
shehara@athleticsontario.ca

Emily Sitarz
Marketing and Communications Intern
emily.sitarz@athleticsontario.ca

To stay up to date with news regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the Ontario track and field community please visit our COVID-19 Updates page.

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