IMPORTANT - COVID FAQs - Updated Jan 1, News (Niagara North Stars)

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IMPORTANT - COVID FAQs - Updated Jan 1
Submitted By Kathy Ditto on Thursday, December 30, 2021
UPDATE - January 1, 2022

To reflect the fact that healthy, vaccinated individuals with Covid are most infectious two days before and three days after symptoms develop the province has sensibly reduced the isolation period for vaccinated people from ten to five days. Please see more for more detailed isolation information. 

Vaccinated players/coaches with symptoms who test positive for Covid: Need isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms along with their household contacts.Individuals can end isolation after five days if their symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours.

Vaccinated players/coaches without symptoms who test positive for Covid: Need to isolate for five days from the day of their positive test along with their household contacts.

What about non-household or low risk contacts? Non-household and low risk contacts are required to self-monitor (don’t need to isolate) for ten days. Therefore, continue to avoid dressing rooms. 

What about under 12 yr players who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated who test positive or are a high risk/household contact? Under 12 yr players need isolate for five days from date of symptoms, positive test or high risk contact. 

Update December 30, 2021 (Please use isolation guidelines updated as of January 1, 2022):
With the inevitable rise in cases in our community, there is an increase in the number of players and coaches testing positive or being a high risk contact, which is impacting our teams. Please review the following FAQs from our COVID committee to help address the most common queries we are getting. Thank you to Dr. Matt Greenway and Jenn Swick for all they are doing to support our teams in staying healthy, safe and up-to-date with the most current information. 

What is a high risk/close contact?
Someone you have spent 15 mins with, less than 2 metres apart without a mask. Commonly this is household contacts, dressing rooms, classrooms. 
Why can’t we use dressing rooms?
Dressing rooms are considered high risk due to lack of ventilation and close proximity of individuals. You are risking 10 days isolation if you use dressing rooms. We have already seen a number of dressing room contacts/cases. 
A player/coach tests positive on a rapid test but has no symptoms?
It is almost certainly Omicron and the player/coach needs to self-isolate for 10 days (along with all household contacts). 
A player/coach tests positive (rapid or PCR), doesn't have symptoms and is double/triple vaccinated. Do they need to self-isolate?
Yes, for 10 days. The vaccine does a good job in preventing serious illness (it works) however double vaccinated individuals still have 40-60% chance of contracting Omicron and triple vaccinated 20% chance of contracting Omicron. 
Although transmission is lower in vaccinated individuals it is still transmissible. We are currently seeing 8 new infections for every positive case. 
A close contact of a player (e.g. household, classmate) has tested +ve for Covid (rapid test or PCR), what do we do?
This is the commonest scenario we are seeing. 
Player needs to self-isolate for 10 days even if fully vaccinated and no symptoms. 
A negative rapid test is not sufficient to return to practice before 10 days.
Player will fail arena screening.
A few players who should be self-isolating have attended practice and this should absolutely not happen. 
Please continue to be diligent in keeping our players, coaches and families safe.  We know the rules can be frustrating - hang in there, we are doing better than most hockey organizations. If rules change we will continue to share our most current information with team staff. 
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