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 contracting of 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.


General Guidelines

 

1.    If you are sick for any reason, please stay home. 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, whether for a practice or game. This rule should be followed irrespective of vaccination status.


2.    Players and parents must abide by the COVID-19 rules, regulations and/or protocols of any ice rink or conditioning facility our players attend. These may vary by rink or facility.


3.    All players, coaches, team managers and volunteers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged (but not required) to get vaccinated, per CDC and IDPH recommendations.

  • 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, the player or coach shall not retake the ice until the molecular/PCR test is returned negative as well.
  • 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 or a minimum of 10 days.


4.    All individuals should have a face covering with them at all times for indoor activities. Face coverings are recommended to be worn (if medically tolerated) when indoors for unvaccinated individuals and for vaccinated individuals in areas of substantial to high COVID19 transmission. Players should wear a face covering when around the rink, in the locker room or not on the ice. When on the ice, all players are encouraged to wear a bubble mask on their helmet.

  • Players shall bring their own water bottles to every practice and game and fill them at home. Bottles should be marked with the player’s name.
  • Players are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and have hand sanitizer in their equipment bag.
  • 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.


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), 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.


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.


The exceptions to this are noted below:

  1. For COVID-19, the CDC defines a “close contact” as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes (consecutive or nonconsecutive withing a 24-hour period) starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Briefer periods of exposure may qualify an individual as a close contact if there is direct physical contact (kissing or hugging), eating or drinking utensils were shared, or the infected person sneezed, coughed, or transferred respiratory droplets to the individual. Per the CDC, an individual that tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three (3) months and “fully vaccinated” individuals may be excluded from the quarantine protocol for a “close contact”, so long as they are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  2. In accordance with CDC guidance, players identified as a “close contact” that are subject to a quarantine protocol may end quarantine from all hockey activities after:
  • ten (10) days from the date of last contact with the COVID-19 case, without being tested, if they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms when conducting daily monitoring; or
  • seven (7) days from the date of last contact with the COVID-19 case with a negative diagnostic (RT-PCR) test for players (test must occur on day 6 or later). Proof of the negative RT-PCR must be shown, or a copy provided to, the Wilmette Jr. Trevians Hockey Director.


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 and adhere to recommended symptomatic protocols. 


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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