So . . . the Ontario government has released a new Covid-19 Response Framework. For your reading pleasure, here’s the link: https://files.ontario.ca/moh-covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open-en-2020-11-08.pdf

Niagara is in the yellow “Protect” level of the framework. What does this mean for us?

The measures that are in place for Sports and Recreational Fitness are as follows:

  • Face coverings required except when exercising
  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3m for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights / weight machines and exercise / fitness classes
  • Recreational programs limited to 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors
  • Require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports
  • Require appointments for entry: one reservation for teams
  • Safety plan available upon request

I had a chat with Matt H. at the Niagara Region Public Health Department this morning to discuss how the framework might be applied in the context of our Kendo club. We went through most of the list. Here’s what we talked about.

Contact Information, Appointments for Entry, 10 people or less: We’re good. Our system is fine.

Face coverings: We’re over and above the requirement as we keep masks on at all times.

Increased Spacing: This is an area that he said they are waiting on more guidance from the Province. This rule makes sense for places that are running spin or aerobics classes where masks are being removed during exercise. It is less clear whether it does or should apply to Kendo as we are masked before, during, and after class. We have been working on kihon-waza with bokuto and basic shinai drills where participants are able to stay 2m apart most of the time but pass within 2m for short periods of time during a strike. Since we’re masked, the windows are open, and we don’t stay close for very long (i.e. 1~2 seconds) I don’t feel we are being unsafe. Matt agreed that our approach is reasonable, and he advised me that until clearer guidance is provided from the Province that it is fine for us to continue to practice the way we have up until now, but to prepare for a possible eventuality that the 3m distance is indeed a requirement.

Safety Plan:  Matt and I didn’t discuss this. The safety plan is for employers, so I don’t think it applies to us in the context of the club. I feel our club’s Covid-19 protocols cover almost everything the safety plan discusses. Here’s the link if you’re interested in reading about Covid-19 workplace safety plans: https://www.ontario.ca/page/develop-your-covid-19-workplace-safety-plan

Our Hosts: I spoke with St. John’s Thorold and nothing has changed on their end as far as their comfort with our renting their space. They are happy we are so conscientious and meticulous with our cleaning 🙂

All of this to say is that for now our training can continue. I look forward to seeing you at the dojo 🙂