VUL response to COVID-19

Update April 2 - All programs remain cancelled until the end of May. 

We aim to update this page by Thursday each week with our current status. 

Subscribe to our Community Newsletter to receive updates by email. 


This article provides a summary of the VUL’s response to COVID-19 in Metro Vancouver. We regularly review guidance from relevant authorities (local, provincial, federal, international) and will update members as things change. 

Our priorities during this time include:

  1. The health and safety of VUL members and personnel.
  2. The health and safety of the everyone in the communities where we live. 
  3. Continuing to deliver programs and services where possible. 

There are many health benefits to being active and playing ultimate (physical, mental, social, etc). However, there are more serious risks with spreading a virus during a pandemic. We will continue to follow advice and recommendations from the experts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to help keep our community safe. When the conditions allow, we look forward to getting back on the field!  

Program Status - April 2

No change since last week. All programs remain cancelled until May 31, and registration is open for programs after that.

We will contact Winter participants directly about refunds. 

Adults

We hope to run shorter Summer leagues in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey. See the league pages for more info. 

  • Registration remains open for Summer League and Summer in Surrey, and existing registrations remain active.
  • Registration for New West Hat will postponed until we can confirm a start date.
  • We hope to run the Beginner Camp from June-August as normal. Registration will open in May. 

Youth

We hope to run all Summer programs. Registration for Skills and Camps will open next week, and for League in May.

Community

We recognize the importance of exercise and connection for mental and physical health, so we are looking into ways for VUL members to connect and support each other. Send any suggestions you may have to feedback@vul.ca. In the meantime, please stay connected with your friends, family, and teammates!

Guidelines for Members

All of us have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The virus presents a very serious health risk. Most of us have not directly experienced exponential growth during an outbreak, and that can make it harder to treat warnings with as much care as needed. While the virus is similar the flu, there is an increased risk of severe outcomes for those over 65, and a spike in infections can overwhelm health care providers putting many other people at risk - including those who do not have COVID-19 who need access to our health care system.

  1. If you feel sick, please stay home. Even with mild symptoms or if it is not COVID. This is important to protect our wider community and the health care system.
     
  2. If you return from travel outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days per Health Canada and BC Government.
     
  3. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces. Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
     
  4. Follow social distancing guidelines. Skip handshakes, high-fives, and other direct contact with people unless necessary. 
     
  5. Consider exercise options that can be done while maintaining a social distance, such as walking, running, hiking, cycling, throwing a frisbee with a few friends, yoga at home or in a park, etc.

Symptoms 

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may show little to no symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. One study suggests the virus can spread easily early in the infection cycle. 

Symptoms are similar to a cold or flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Tip: Buy a thermometer if you don’t have one -- a fever can present before other symptoms.

Read this CBC article for more info about symptoms and what to do if you get them. Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC CDC have a good list of resources, as well. 

References

Recent updates

BC Gov on March 16: The Province extends the ban on mass gatherings to groups of more than 50 people (including many bars and restaurants).

BC CDC on March 16: "If you are feeling unwell (even if you’re certain it’s not #COVID19), stay home and don’t spread your germs to others. This helps protect people more vulnerable to severe illness. Learn how to stop the spread of germs at home: http://ow.ly/MNqN50yMMAe". 

BC CDC on March 16: "Are you self-isolating and monitoring symptoms because you may have been exposed to #COVID19 or you have arrived in BC from outside of Canada? We have some information about what that means on our website: http://ow.ly/7e4P50yMN0j

BC CDC on March 7 recommended “social distancing and forgoing usual greetings”. In addition, see PHAC guidance on community-based measures to minimize spread

BC Government response plan on March 6. “The plan focuses on delaying, containing and preparing the province to minimize serious illness and economic disruption…. Phase 1 of the plan is underway, addressing identification and containment.… The priority is to delay the onset of widespread community transmission for as long as possible.” 

BC Gov on March 12: “Effective today, we also directing all event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people.” 

Health Canada: “The public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians aged 65 and over, with compromised immune systems, or underlying medical conditions” 

Feedback

If you have any comments or feedback, please send them to feedback@vul.ca.

Social Distancing Guide

From the New York Times in March. Note that some of these guidelines may have changed since then.

What is social distancing?

It means minimizing contact with people and maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Avoid public transportation, limit nonessential travel, work from home and skip gatherings. This strategy saved thousands of lives both during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and in Mexico City during the 2009 flu pandemic.

I’m young. Can I continue to socialize?

Please don’t. There is no question that older people and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the virus, but young people are by no means immune. And there is a greater public health imperative. Even people who show only mild symptoms may pass the virus to many, many others — particularly in the early course of the infection, before they even realize they are sick.

Can I leave my house?

It’s OK to go outdoors. The point is not to remain indoors, but to avoid being in close contact with others. When you do leave your home, wipe down any surfaces you come into contact with, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.

Can I go to the supermarket?

Yes, buy what you need without hoarding. Pick a time when the store is least likely to be crowded. Be aware that any surface inside the store may be contaminated, especially the handle of the cart.

Can I go out to dinner at a restaurant?

Avoid going out to restaurants. Opt for takeout.

Can family come to visit?

That depends. If everyone in the family is young and healthy, then some careful interaction in small groups can be OK (maintain distance). Elderly relatives and others at risk should stay away.

Can I take my kids to the playground?

Serious illness from this virus in kids is rare, but they are still at risk. Kids tend to touch their mouths, noses and faces constantly so parents, especially in higher-risk areas, may want to avoid trips to playgrounds. If any are open, take hand sanitizer and clean any surfaces with disinfecting wipes before they play.

How long will we need to practice social distancing?

That is a big unknown. A lot will depend on how well the social distancing measures in place work and how much we can slow the pandemic down. But prepare to do so for weeks or a month, and possibly longer.