Dear KMHA Families, KMHA works diligently to create positive environments
and , healthy, fun play spaces for our participants to enjoy Hockey. The
mental, physical and emotional health of our players, coaching staff,
volunteers, and staff is our primary focus. We want to keep our teams safe and
on the ice playing the games they love.
COVID 19 has been a lesson in how to pivot teaching us to play/program with our heads up just like on the ice. The efforts made to date by all people associated with KMHA (players, parents, volunteers, staff and community partners) is greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the steps so far that have given us a great beginning to the season such as wearing your masks, keeping socially distant, practicing good hygiene and getting vaccinated. These efforts we believe have helped us to keep playing this season.
Yesterday the Regional Medical Officer of Health asked community members to “reduce sports contact”. KMHA will continue to follow Waterloo Region Public Health (WRPH) guidance in any and all things COVID-19 related. In order for us to do that and to do our part as an organization to help reduce exposure in our community, the KMHA Board has decided to make a few modifications to our Return to Play/COVID-19 protocols.
For the period December 15, 2021 - January 4 2022, the following will be in place: (This time period may be adjusted as required to adhere to current Public Health requirements)
- One parent/guardian per player at practices and games.
- No additional spectators
- Players coming to the arena must be dressed as much as possible and ready to play
- Masks must be worn at all times by Coaching Staff, dressing room staff, on ice helpers and parents when indoors and not in the field of play. (This includes players wearing their masks until just before they leave the dressing room and putting them on as soon as they return.)
- Coaching staff and on ice helpers must wear masks on the ice or make sure to stay 6 feet (2 meters) away from all others on the ice
- Players must have masks on unless they are on the ice or on the bench during games
- Coaching staff are asked to upgrade masks to N95 (KMHA is seeking to assist with a bulk purchase) These items can also be added for coaching staff to team budgets.
- No indoor Team social activity - if you have a holiday event planned, consider moving it to the New Year or doing something outside instead of in homes or at restaurants. This includes team meals if you are travelling to a tournament.
- Games and practices may continue unless we receive a different direction from WRPH, the province of Ontario, our governing bodies Alliance Hockey and the OWHA or the City of Kitchener.
- If you are traveling outside Waterloo Region, Managers/Coaches please make sure that you check with the team you are playing regarding any changes to COVID-19 protocols in their area. We do know that some areas have cancelled games and or practices. Also please note the other restrictions may be implemented prior to travel by our governing bodies or public health.
Currently KMHA will be hosting the Jason Cripps Christmas tournament. We have chosen to continue with the tournament as the teams involved are all local and reflect only the teams we play in our standard leagues. No outside (non-league) teams are involved. We ask that teams establish reasonable arrival times (not more than 30 minutes before your game is scheduled to start) and come as dressed as possible to play. Please note arrival times may still tighten even more. (Updates will be posted to the Cripps Website) Please bear with us as we expect the schedule will change with some local associations opting to cease game activities until the new year or a team may be isolating related to COVID. Please do not print these schedules but rather refer to them online or in the Sportsheadz app to ensure you are viewing the most recent schedule.
We are asking any Teams still in away Tournaments to please have a team discussion about whether or not you continue with the tournament. If the decision is to continue to participate, you are strongly encouraged not to stay overnight, nor have team meals in restaurants and minimize the time you are at the arena or gathered socially. You should be focusing on decreasing the social interactions. Please note that the precedent at tournaments has been that if there is a case, all players/families in attendance will be asked to isolate for 14 days which will go into the holiday season. This risk should be considered along with the risk for transmission.
No one wants to see us stop playing the game we love. By continuing to do our individual best to reduce our social interactions, wear a mask, wash hands, keep socially distanced and get vaccinated, collectively we will continue making a difference.
This is an evolving landscape, and we may have to make further modifications/changes. We will keep everyone informed as quickly as we can.
There are also a few Provincial COVID updates that are rolling out shortly. They are as follows.
- Effective December 20, 2021, requiring proof of vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 years participating in organized sports at recreational facilities.
- Delaying the lifting of proof of vaccination requirements beyond January 17, 2022, aligned with the reopening plan that stipulated that doing so was contingent on the absence of concerning trends.
- Effective January 4, 2022, requiring the use of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app in settings where proof of vaccination is required. The QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy. Individuals can download their enhanced certificate with QR code by visiting https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.
- Strengthening the verification process for medical exemptions and clinical trial exemptions by requiring a certificate with a QR code. Organizations and businesses that are under the provincial proof-of-vaccination system will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as of January 10, 2022.
- On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontarians are strongly advised to limit their social gatherings and the number of gatherings they attend over the holiday season. Additional precautions should be taken if all individuals are not fully vaccinated or where vaccination status is unknown. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
Thank you for your cooperation,
KMHA Board of Directors.