COVID / RED Zone Update


Nov. 26, 2020


Good Morning Wildcats!
 
The Region of Waterloo Public Health Unit in conjunction with the City of Kitchener have reinterpreted the Red level restrictions we are limited by.   The original email communicated to KRA members on Monday November 23rd at approx. 6:00 am was based on the old interpretations.  The new changes take effect on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020. For example, one of the changes from Public Health indicates that while participants can have a guardian attend, they count against the limit of 10 people allowed in each rink. This restriction means that guardians would not be allowed into the arena to tie skates, or assist with equipment, including handing over a piece of missing equipment, regardless of age or level, if we are to have 8 skaters on the ice with two coaches.
 
KRA has worked diligently upon hearing the rumours of the possibility of entering into the RED level restrictions under the Safe and Open Ontario Framework up until now to examine our programs and determine how we will move forward. We have polled our membership and coaches and have heard your input. One thing we have heard is that a number of families have been planning to participate up until early December, after which point they plan to take time off to isolate leading into the Christmas season.
 
Given the timing that our Region is going into a Red/Control status as we approach the Christmas season, we realize that the logistics and coordination required to keep our players on the ice while adhering to the guidelines set before us would result in only 2 or 3 more ice times per players before our Christmas break.
 
As such, effective immediately, all KRA on-ice activity will be put on hold until December 23rd, 2020. As of December 24th we will be subject to a hiatus of all sanctioned activity under the direction of Ringette Ontario.  The RO hiatus suspends activity until January 10th, 2021.  

During this pause we will continue to monitor local COVID reported numbers and will be making plans for a possible return to the ice as of January 11th, 2021.  We are hopeful by that time we will have returned to Orange level restrictions (or less).

It is our hope to return for a full season after the break, but this decision will not be reached until we are accurately aware of all restrictions or guidelines that are in place at the time.

Our board members have worked closely with city officials, public health and Ringette Ontario to ensure the safety of not only our Wildcats but our community as a whole.

While we know our decision will not resonate with everybody, we hope that you understand this was a difficult decision, and it was made with much thought and many discussions.  

During this break we encourage you to keep in touch with your fellow Wildcats through social media platforms or other not-in-person ways.  Support your teammates during this difficult time, and check in on each other.  Ensure physical distancing, and wear a mask when you leave home.  Follow all the advice of our public health officials so that you are healthy to return to us in the new year.  And remember, while safety is the reason why we need to step back for a moment, this is not the end of our season.  Wildcats don’t give up on the ice, and we will continue our fighting spirit during this pandemic.  We will all be back on the ice soon.

Stewart Saunderson
Director of Communications
Kitchener Ringette Association

Region of Waterloo: https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx#

Government of Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open

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