October 2020 COVID-19 Press Release

A message to our members:

In the past 24 hours, there have been several media reports addressing the concern over COVID-19 outbreaks in organized team sports. The West Ottawa Soccer Club (WOSC) would like to address some of these reports and acknowledge that our players’ health & safety is our number one priority and supersedes everything else, while identifying the strict & immersive protocols we have implemented in all of our programs since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

CTV Ottawa recently reported that Ottawa Public Health [is] investigating 14 teams where at least two people have tested positive for COVID-19 while maintaining that the teams involved would not be named, but added that the five outbreaks are related to indoor activities.

WOSC would like to assure you that none of our teams or programs are among the 14 identified in this report.

While Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches is quoted as saying that hockey and football activities are showing up in COVID-19 cases, it is imperative for us all to understand that outbreaks can happen in any kind of sport where there is close contact and that is not just limited to the players participating in team play or a program. Dr. Etches notes that the social events that take place both before and after, such as carpooling or after-practice meals and drinks.

While hockey and football might be the only sports to be acknowledged in the media recently, it is imperative that we remember COVID-19 does not discriminate against activities. 

As mandated by our governing body Ontario Soccer, WOSC and all sanctioned soccer in Ontario returned to Phase 1 of its Return to Play (RTP) protocol by Ontario Soccer for a minimum of 28 days starting October 10th. 

For WOSC, this has forced the delay of some winter programs until at least November 7th at which time Ottawa Public Health and the Province of Ontario will re-evaluate their decision.

“As long as Phase 1 restrictions are in place, WOSC will focus on individual skill development through socially distanced training with no physical interaction between players”, said Technical Director Kristina Kiss.  “As soon as local and provincial authorities reduce restrictions, WOSC will ensure that appropriate changes are made to incorporate restriction changes while ensuring the safety and well-being of our soccer players” Kiss stated.

WOSC fully supports the need for increased safety measures as Ottawa continues to struggle to control the second wave of COVID-19.

Our COVID-19 Info Center available on our website contains numerous documents and COVID-19 updates pertaining to our protocols or Ontario Soccer’s Return To Play guidelines.

Here are some of the ways we have implemented strict protocols and safety measures as early as July 2020 at all of our training facilities to ensure the wellbeing of all WOSC players, parents, coaches & staff:

As a significant number of our training programs move indoors at the Thunderbird Sports Complex in late October, we would like to provide an overview of what these training programs will look like while adhering to our safety protocols and guidelines:

Finally, we ask that all of our WOSC members adhere to the rules and guidelines listed above, but to also be mindful of your actions outside of our WOSC community. 

Wear your masks, restrict your social circles and respect social distancing when congregating in groups. As Dr. Etches is quoted as saying, “It’s recognizing that we ourselves have the power to reduce the risk to ourselves and to others in our community through those simple behaviours.”

Thank you for taking the time to read through this important message. WOSC staff appreciates everyone’s patience and consideration during these difficult times.

The West Ottawa Soccer Club