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January 2nd, 2022

Dear Members, Happy New Year to you all and I wish you all the best in 2022. As we soon return to curling, I want to address what is expected as we return. As you are all aware, the Covid-19 pandemic continues into 2022 and we are now faced with the Omicron variant of concern which likely has (or very soon will) taken over as the prevalent strain that most people are contracting/transmitting. As we start the season, under these new conditions, I want to discuss several points that will allow us to continue to operate safely and offer curling into 2022.

1. Health Declaration and Illness Policy: Please review the latest version of the Health Declaration and Illness Policy at (http://marpolecurling.ca/communicable-diseasecovid-19-club-informationpage/) and follow them each time you come into the Club. This is important to help keep our facility open.

2. Symptoms / Contacts (Omicron): In alignment with the Dec 24th press briefing by Dr. Bonnie Henry, under the following circumstances, we highly recommend that you not attend the Club temporarily:

a. If you have any respiratory symptoms or,

b. You have been in close contact with anyone who has any respiratory symptoms for 5 days from when symptoms appeared.  It is clear from Dr. Henry that you can spread the Omicron variant even before you display symptoms. Dr. Henry has stated that anyone with any respiratory symptoms should consider themselves as possibly infected and stay home / monitor for further symptoms / communicate with close contacts.

This is the best way we can avoid bringing Omicron into the facility. Although evidence is leaning towards Omicron infection in vaccinated people being less severe than with previous strains, we have many curlers in higher risk categories, that may still be at risk of severe disease. We owe it to them to do whatever is necessary to limit exposure… even if it means missing a curling game or two.

3. Social Distancing on the ice: We are recommending that teams/leagues/individuals strongly consider utilizing the social distance protocols on the ice that are published by Curl Canada (illustrations and live demos of how to use are found here https://www.curling.ca/return-toplay/), which may also include utilizing only one sweeper. This is not required by Order or by CurlBC but it is one additional way to limit spread of Omicron.

4. Mask use: These are required throughout the facility except while curling. However, we strongly recommend using a high quality mask while curling, if you can. As Omicron spreads so much more efficiently than previous variants, we may need to do more than we did before to minimize transmission inside our facility. Bring more than one mask as they get wet and less effective over time.

5. Lounge Changes: Our lounge is exempt from the bar closure as we are a private club. The following changes have been put into place.

a. Guests: Despite being exempt, to remain within the spirit of this Order, we are asking that no non-member guests be brought into the lounge area, until the Bar closure Order has been rescinded. We recognize this temporary measure is a hardship, however, it is the best way to protect Members in the short term. Any change to this will be posted on our website and at the Club.

b. Seating: There will be seating limits of no more than 6 people per table and tables must remain where placed, to maintain spacing. If you come to the lounge, please do not congregate and when you sit, please respect the seating limits and do not move any tables. Masks are required and you cannot move from table to table.

c. Other restrictions may need to be implemented: please be aware of signage and follow staff direction.

6. General: Please keep these general points in mind as well.

a. Utilize social distancing, at all times, but especially in the locker rooms and lobby area, as these are more enclosed areas with much more shared airspace.

b. Please come dressed to curl and come as close to your starting time as possible to limit time in the lobby area.

c. If you stay in the lobby area, please limit the time you are there, stand with your bubble if applicable and maintain distance to all others while waiting for your ice sheet to open up.

d. Respect all room occupancy limits, if posted e. Always wear a high quality, well fitting mask. We thank you in advance for following these steps (and Public Health Office Orders) designed to protect our Community.

With your help, we can keep the Club and the lounge open for the rest of our season and keep people as safe as possible until such time as things can return to a more normal environment. Let’s remember we are “The Friendly Home of Curling in South Vancouver” … lets also make sure it’s also as safe as possible.

Respectfully yours,

Dale Cameron

Marpole Curling Club President