COVID-19 Policy

The Wilmette Hockey Association (WHA) takes the health and safety of its players, coaches and families very seriously. The following procedures and policies are based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA Hockey and input from medical professionals. These procedures and policies have been put in place to mitigate the risk of exposure to and of contracting COVID-19 while participating in hockey activities. These policies are likely to evolve as the season proceeds and national, state, and local guidelines evolve. The goal remains the safety and health of our players, coaches, families and community.   

Player and Family Responsibilities

  1. Players and coaches shall not participate in hockey activities if they have a temperature greater than 100.4 or experience other symptoms related to COVID-19. Parents are responsible for evaluating their players before leaving for the rink. Our hockey director and coaching staff prefer that you err on the side of caution when a player does not feel well.
  2. Players and coaches shall not participate in hockey activities while awaiting the results of any COVID-19 test. For example, if a player or coach takes both a rapid and molecular/PCR test and receives a negative rapid test result, then the player or coach shall not retake the ice until the molecular/PCR test is returned negative. 
  3. A player or coach who takes a rapid COVID-19 test shall not participate in hockey activities until they receive a negative molecular/PCR test
  4. Player’s equipment should be checked, cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. A spray bottle containing 40% water and 60% isopropyl alcohol can be utilized to sanitize equipment and dry overnight. 
  5. Players shall bring their own water bottles and fill them at home. Bottles should be marked with the player’s name.
  6. Players are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and have hand sanitizer in their equipment bag.
  7. Players at the U12 age level and younger should come to the rink dressed for all practices. Players at the U14, U16 and U19 age levels are encouraged to dress or partially dress before arriving at the rink.
  8. If a player starts to feel ill while on the ice, they shall immediately notify their coach so they can be removed from hockey activities and leave the rink.


Rink Policies

  1. Rinks have different policies for wearing face coverings while on the ice, locker room usage and spectator attendance. The WHA’s two primary rink facilities are North Shore Ice Arena and Wilmette Centennial Ice Arena. These facilities have different policies and shall be followed.
  2. Players shall arrive at the rink no more than 30 minutes prior to practice activities.
  3. Face coverings shall be worn by all players, coaches, family members and spectators while inside rink facilities in accordance with state and local regulations. 
  4. Face coverings shall be worn for on ice activities when required by the rink facility. A full plastic face shield satisfies the face covering requirement.
  5. Team warm-ups shall be conducted outside and follow physical distancing guidelines.
  6. Spectators should follow guidelines for physical distancing when inside rink facilities.


Return to Play Protocols for Coaches and Players

Return to Play after a Coach or Player Tests Positive

  1. Please follow all current national, CDC, state, and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 quarantine for the player who tests positive for COVID-19. 
  2. Email the head coach and WHA Hockey Director Tim Benz with information regarding the diagnosis, date of onset of symptoms (if any) or if the coach or player was asymptomatic (experiencing no symptoms) and potential contact with other team members. All information is confidential.
  3. If the coach or player was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms along with the positive COVID-19 test, the coach or player must satisfy the following requirements before resumption or participation in team activities:Must wait at least 10 days from the first sign of symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, aches, chills, headache, sore throat or a loss of taste and/or smell).
  4. Must be free of fever for 24 hours without any fever reducing medication.
  5. Must provide a note from the coach’s or player’s physician or health care professional stating it is safe to return to participation in team activities.
  6. If the coach or player was asymptomatic at the time of the positive COVID-19 test, the coach or player must satisfy the following requirements before resumption of participation in team activities:Must remain free of symptoms for at least 10 days from the date of the first positive test.
  7. Must provide a note from the coach’s or player’s physician or health care professional stating it is safe to return to participation in team activities.

Return to Play After a Coach or Player Is in “Close Contact With a COVID-19 Positive Person”

  1. Email the head coach and WHA Hockey Director Tim Benz with information regarding the diagnosis and potential contact with other team members. All information is confidential.
  2. The coach or player shall remain out of all hockey activities for either 7 or 10 days as outlined below from the last date the coach or player was in “Close Contact with a COVID-19 Positive Person” (as defined below) and watch for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, aches, chills, headache, sore throat or a loss of taste and/or smell) even if the coach or player has a negative COVID-19 test during that time, unless the coach or player tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 3 months, has fully recovered from COVID-19 at the time of Close-Contact Exposure, and is and remains without COVID-19 symptoms during the quarantine period.   

Based on CDC guidance, under the strict condition the coach or player has exhibited no symptoms during the entirety of the quarantine period, quarantine can end for a coach or player:

  1. After 7 days, returning to team activities no earlier than day 8, only after receiving a negative Covid-19 test result with no further test results outstanding. The test must occur on or after day 5 and the coach or player may not end the quarantine period if there are test results outstanding. 
  2. After 10 days, returning to hockey activities no earlier than day 11, without receiving a Covid-19 test.

Regardless of the length of quarantine, the coach or player should monitor for symptoms for a full 14 days after an exposure. If any symptoms develop after leaving quarantine and prior to the end of the 14-day period it is recommended the coach or player immediately self-isolate and contact their local healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status & adhere to recommended symptomatic protocols. 

 “Close Contact with a COVID-19 Positive Person” means:

  • (a) any contact (with or without a face covering) within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 for cumulative of 15 minutes or more over the course of a 24-hour period during the period of time starting two calendar days before the onset of symptoms in the COVID-19 positive person (in symptomatic cases) or the date of the COVID-19 test (in asymptomatic cases) and continuing until that person is isolated; or
  • (b) in extremely close contact (with or without a face covering) with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (e.g., kissing, hugging, falling over players while battling for the puck or ball, tackling, etc.) regardless of duration during the period of time starting two calendar days before the onset of symptoms in the COVID-19 positive person (in symptomatic cases) or the COVID-19 person tests positive for COVID-19 (in asymptomatic cases) and continuing until that person is isolated; or 
  • (c) lived in the same household with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 during the period of time starting two calendar days before the onset of symptoms in the COVID-19 positive person (in symptomatic cases) or the COVID-19 person tests positive for COVID-19 (in asymptomatic cases) and continuing until that person is isolated.

You are encouraged to take your player to a medical professional for additional guidance.

Notification When a Coach or a Player Tests Positive for COVID-19

You will be notified that a case has been found on your team. All personal information will be kept confidential. You will be advised further depending on the situation, but it is always recommended that you watch your player for symptoms.

You will not be notified if a Coach or Player is in Close Contact with a COVID-19 Positive Person. That person will, however, be required to quarantine under this Policy.

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