Club Activities in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Club Activities in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear Members and Connections of Kotara South FC,

At present the rapidly expanding Covid-19 pandemic requires us to adjust club activities. As you likely know from the media coverage there is a pressing need to slow down the spread of Covid-19 so that our limited health services will be able to help the many people who will soon be needing treatment. Social distancing measures must be implemented now to reduce the death toll and long term lung damage from this pandemic. To date, the Football Federation Australia have not published any specific guidelines. Therefore, we have developed recommendations which are based on public health recommendations from experts in the field.  

The current changes to our activities are:

  1. Larger meetings (more than approx. 20 people) will not be occurring in their usual format. Instead we are planning alternate ways to manage the distribution and discussion of the content of these meetings.
    1. The planned Coach and Manager meeting of 26th March is cancelled, and we will communicate further about the alternate arrangements. 
    2. The Duty Officer Training meetings are under review, and will likely be delivered in a different format. 
  2. Training Sessions and Smaller Meetings (less than approx 20 people) MAY be suitable to continue with the observation of advice to maintain appropriate distancing and hygiene:
    1. Anyone who has a Fever OR Respiratory Symptoms at the time OR in the prior 14 days must NOT ATTEND. They should be self-isolating at home. 
    2. Generally a 2 metre distance should be maintained between people. Brief closer interaction (eg. making a tackle) are very unlikely to result in the spread of Covid-19. 
    3. Hands should be washed frequently or hand sanitiser used, and touching of your face should be avoided. Cough into your elbow, but LEAVE the event if coughing continues. 
    4. Food or drink must not be shared. 
  3. Fixtures including Trial Games may be held at the discretion of the teams involved if there are only small numbers of participants and minimal spectators at the field. The recommendations above MUST be adhered to.
    We will NOT be holding any large scale fixtures such as gala days or game days at this stage. 
  4. The Football Season is due to commence for most Kotara South teams on the first weekend in May. By that time the pandemic is projected to be well advanced with many thousands of cases and people requiring hospital care. The NSW Government has stated they expect up to 1.5 million people in NSW to be infected in the first wave. We will await advice from FFA and Northern NSW Football regarding the football season and keep you informed as soon as possible. 

I am a General Practitioner and have spent the last 2 months following the development of this pandemic and its effect in different nations has varied widely. The death rate from Covid-19 can vary from between 1% and 5% depending on the response of each nation. Social Distancing if implemented will make the difference in Australia, but only if it is implemented NOW. See below if you would like to understand more WHY this is so important. 

On behalf of the Kotara South FC Committee, 

Damien Whittaker
Tel: 0425 318 243

*** If you would like to understand in depth WHY this is so important and more detailed PRACTICAL ADVICE, please take the time to read this article co-authored by Dr Craig Dalton a Public Health Physician at the University of Newcastle. This paper is influencing global governmental responses ***

Pre-Emptive Low Cost Social Distancing and Enhanced Hygiene Implemented before Local COVID-19 Transmission Could Decrease the Number and Severity of Cases.