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Discussion: OUSA Recommendations for Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Transmission at Events

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 28, 2020 2:15 PM # 
Orienteering USA has approved the following recommendations for holding events in the new coronavirus era. These recommendations are required for OUSA sanctioned NRE events. Clubs holding local events are strongly encouraged to follow these recommendations as well, in conjunction with local, state & federal guidelines in place at the time of the event.

These guidelines will remain effective through December 31st, 2021 and will be updated by the OUSA Board as necessitated by the shifting realities of the pandemic. Please note that certain OUSA Rules of Competition are waived or otherwise modified for the duration of these guidelines.

Any additional suggestions for these guidelines should be directed to Joe Huberman, VP Club Services.
Jul 28, 2020 3:15 PM # 
Jul 29, 2020 7:38 PM # 
Good job. These guidelines seem very thorough. The one weak spot seems to be washrooms/toilets. These facilities will contain multiple used surfaces that will not be safe. Maybe participants should be encouraged to bring their own portable toilets and hand washing devices.
Jul 29, 2020 8:56 PM # 
They certainly have done a thorough job.
I think there is a bit of overkill in there and there will be no national events happening while these regulations are in place. Who wants to go to all the trouble for 60 participants?
As for my club's local events we will be foregoing the public participation except by event volunteers and concentrating on safe events for JROTC, Boy and Girls Scouts, all of which can be done with pre-entries. That is if their authorities let them come.
The start grid will be very large with 2 m distancing between teams, presuming each team is its own 'bubble'.
Finish-Download-Done and Gone. No mass presentation of Awards and that is really too bad as that is the biggest part of the JROTC events.
Jul 30, 2020 2:04 AM # 
I still think Water should still be offered on the course and the finish, provided in individual separate bottles.
Jul 30, 2020 3:10 AM # 
It's not that big a deal to carry your own water. Standard practice in some countries.
Jul 30, 2020 4:48 AM # 
Maybe participants should be encouraged to bring their own portable toilets...

Joking, right?
Jul 30, 2020 12:50 PM # 
I think hanging on should be recommended. Excellent for self-control.
Jul 30, 2020 4:50 PM # 
There are relatively small and inexpensive camping toilets - the frame folds flat like a small folding chair; and when opened holds a disposable bag. Most people will probably choose a slightly increased risk for the convenience of using public facilities or portable toilets, but if you want extra safety, bringing your own is not all that difficult.
Jul 30, 2020 5:19 PM # 
gordhun, presumably the idea behind the bubble is that if one person on a team is infected, they would infect only others on their team (like the Miami Marlins), but not the other teams, and there would be a record with contact information of everyone on a team. One weakness with MLB is that I understand they require coaches, etc., but not players, to wear masks in the dugout. However, MLB has the resources to get test results right away, which isn't the case for others in Florida.

With the possibility of the land border to the US remaining closed to non-essential travel at least through this fall, would you be looking to fly down?
Jul 31, 2020 2:11 AM # 
I own a portable chemical flushing toilet, a Thetford 365. It is lightweight, easy to use and easy to clean. Costs less than $100 on Amazon. Just set it down along the road or in a parking area, Throw a sheet over yourself when using.
Jul 31, 2020 1:44 PM # 
Do you check it or do you bring it as carry-on?
Jul 31, 2020 3:04 PM # 
Haven’t tried it, but it is probably better to check it.
Jul 31, 2020 3:15 PM # 
rlindzon, I fear the US has two choice to get out of the mess they are in. 1) let things run wild, let and expect people to get the coronavirus, some to successfully build up immunity and some to die.
2) Do a hard two week shutdown of the country - or most of it- a reboot so to speak. Those who are in the process of getting sick will get sick and then build the immunity or die and those who are not sick -98% of the country will not be infected by those viruses which having nowhere to go, no host to find so will simply wither away.
The third choice - do nothing except stay on the current course will lead to months and months of the same.
So, will keeping schools in their own group/ bubble do any good? Yes it will on a statistical basis but it is not foolproof.
The risk of coming across someone who is active with the coronavirus when I was last in Florida was 1 in 10,000 each day. I don't know what the odds are now. But if we get back there we will not be pushing our luck.
Jul 31, 2020 3:21 PM # 
Articles have said that maybe 30% or more of the population has it but is asymptomatic, and since the US is only testing people with symptoms (and some others in certain locations or in the White House, for instance) they will not be found or traced.

Governments who have suppressed the virus had done random testing of populations, isolated the ones testing positive, and traced their contacts. If only we'd done that from the start....
Jul 31, 2020 4:08 PM # 
Bathrooms: Hand Sanitizer before and after.

(And pee in the woods if it is possible to be reasonably discrete)
Jul 31, 2020 10:57 PM # 
When a man uses a porta potty to urinate, there's no need to touch anything in there but the door handle. And that's what old map cases are for.
Aug 1, 2020 3:31 AM # 
gordhun, indicatiions so far are that immunity after being infected is generally very short-lived so 1 isn't going to do it. The effect of a vaccine could last longer, and even then Fauci is suggesting people may need to get vaccinated at least annually to maintain immunity.

Perhaps 2, but for somewhat longer than 2 weeks. For example, people who are asymptomatic infect others in their house and those others don't develop symptoms until after the 2 weeks. As a result of a weekend driving to Manhattan to bring my son back to Canada after expiry of his US work authorization, I just finished a 2-week quarantine on Sunday night. It went fine, with all my work being done remotely anyway. I used meal kit deliveries on Mon., Fri. and Wed., which did mean that I was relying on delivery people, people compiling the ingredients and packing the boxes, people producing the ingredients and shipping them, etc. For that to happen, none of those people can be locked down. One thing I realized about being in quarantine on my own is that there was no realistic chance of my getting infected during that period.

After some bungling early on, Ontario essentially just followed the CDC play book for reopening and so far it has worked (although in my view bars should be kept closed until after we see what happens when the schools reopen).
Aug 1, 2020 4:13 AM # 
it is never going immunity forms, no vaccine... every time you get it, the more severe it is likely to be. Each time it will do even more permanent damage to your system until it finally finishes you off.
Aug 1, 2020 9:55 AM # 
" . . . and so far it has worked" I hope it has, but don't count on it.

A few weeks ago everyone in Melbourne (Australia not Florida), a city similar in size and density to Toronto, thought the same. Now they are in a second lockdown with figures worse than the first wave. Things can go bad again fast.
Aug 1, 2020 12:51 PM # 
And now that I think of it, the portable urinals that I saw at Jukola, where you don't go inside at all, seem pretty clever.
Aug 8, 2020 11:53 AM # 
I thought that the US - Canada border was closed because of Covid-19. I thought that Canada want it closed and the US wanted it open. Maybe not. There may be another reason.
The US president has once again said that Canada is a security risk to the US! wow.
Aug 9, 2020 1:38 AM # 
My understanding is that, yes, it's due entirely to COVID-19, but that the closures have been mutual agreements.

It is also my understanding that quarantines in Canada are hard ones -- no leaving the place in which you're staying for anything short of a bonafide emergency. As far as I know, quarantines here include exceptions for getting food or other "essential" reasons (eg, doctor appointments).
Aug 9, 2020 4:13 AM # 
The border closure is by mutual agreement, but entirely at the request of the Canadian government. For one, the border closing would lose a large part of its effectiveness for Canada if Canadian citizens were allowed to cross the border into the US because the Canadian government won't stop Canadian citizens from reentering. The US is supposed to have only closed the land border, but numbers crossing other than across the land border are very low these days. And, yes, if under quarantine in Canada, you're not allowed to go out to buy food, etc. or to buy food in Canada on the way home.

There's currently a bipartisan effort from members of Congress for the border to start to reopen, but the premiers of Ontario and British Columbia (and perhaps other provinces) have let the Canadian government know they're strongly opposed to a reopening of the border until the US gets its confirmed case numbers way down.
Aug 9, 2020 4:26 AM # 
Incidentally, the NEOC national meet scheduled for October is on the verge of getting the axe, expect an official announcement shortly. The state agency in charge of the park is not issuing any permits.
Aug 9, 2020 8:51 AM # 
Sometime soon we are all going to want to give our heads a shake.
Yes Covid 19 is a serious illness no matter what our age or pre-existing condition. Just as we don't want to get the flu or pneumonia even more we don't want to catch Covid 19.
BUT here are some things that need explanation.
There have been all kinds of so-called 'super spreader events' shown in the media from parties in the Ozarks, Texas and along the beached of America but there have been very few report of super spreads - a few but not many . Even the Trump events have not led to reports of mass casualties, a few but not mass casualties.
The large majority of people who test positive for the corona virus never develop any symptoms associated with Covid-19. Are there corona viruses out there that cause a positive test that do not lead to Covid 19? Should a more refined test be available?
Among the large majority that do not develop symptoms of Covid-19 is there an already existing immunity that sits in their bodies? If so some say it might be a particular blood type. Or maybe some flu shot taken in previous years has created an immunity that has not yet been uncovered? If only the polio virus had similar proportions or HIV ! What's up with this one?
Quarantine: we are told that wearing masks, keeping distance and constant hand cleaning are pretty well 100% effective ways of avoiding contracting and/ or spreading the virus. If that is the case then a hard quarantine seems a bit of overreaction, no?
Aug 9, 2020 12:32 PM # 
One of the recent clusters in MA came from a hospital worker who went on vacation in a hotspot state and then went back to work without quarantining first. There are 36 cases (mostly staff but also patients) associated with this cluster. The reality is that people are not always diligent about masks and distancing, and we don’t really understand yet why some people seem to be able to infect dozens while others none. So yeah, a hard quarantine almost certainly prevents more spread.
Aug 9, 2020 12:46 PM # 
Rereading gordhun’s post I realize now that he likely doesn’t care that about this incident that hasn’t resulted in immediate mass deaths, so I guess I’m wasting my breath.
Aug 9, 2020 1:55 PM # 
gordhun, not saying I agree with you at all, but I think the example you're looking for is West Nile. The first year West Nile hits a new area, we hear about a bunch of people getting at least very sick, though numbers are minimal compared to Covid. West Nile hasn't gone away, but we stop hearing about bunches of people getting sick from it. If you go to Ontario's West Nile Virus Surveillance website (yes, there is one), 25 West Nile positive mosquito pools have been identified this year, but without a single confirmed human case. It's not as if the mosquitoes have stopped biting us so the logical conclusion to me is that we've mostly become immune.
Aug 9, 2020 3:19 PM # 
Tell me this Christina or anyone else: why do some 80% of the people who are identified as exposed to the coronavirus never show any sign of having symptoms of Covid-19? It seems to me that scientists should be studying them and studying them again to find out what is going on that they do not get sick. There has to be something there. As to your hurtful, nasty post of today 8:45 it is quite the opposite. What can we learn from those who have not become death statistics so we can protect others from becoming statistics? Like this study.
Aug 9, 2020 3:52 PM # 
Careful folks, this thread is becoming too personal.

On other non O websites that I frequent, both this subject, and the concurrent racial topic seem to defy civilized discussion, even among normally civilized people, at least by my standards.

Can we keep the scope related to the stated title "OUSA reccomendations..." and not try to solve the problem for the whole world, or country.
Aug 9, 2020 4:32 PM # 
I'm terribly sorry to have wasted my own energy on this. I will waste a tiny bit more to bring my comments back into relevance.

We don't know exactly why some people get sick and others don't, nor why some people are great spreaders and others not. Until we do, and while there are still areas of the US with uncontrolled spread, the OUSA guidelines seem prudrent, and it also seems product not to hold any events with national interest that might tempt people to travel to/from hotspots. That's it. It's not rocket surgery.
Aug 9, 2020 6:24 PM # 
I don't see toilets as a virus spreading concern. The biggest risk is the AIR (with virus contaminated aerosols) , which shouldn't really be too bad as the potties door opens and closes frequently and they are air ventilated. I am pretty sure that surface contamination as a virus spreader has been found to be in effective.
Aug 9, 2020 6:39 PM # 
Gordhun, if you think there aren't hundreds of scientists out there studying those very questions then I don't know what to say. Studies like that take years and require enormous sample sizes. There is a study, one of many, that takes people who were on the Diamond Princess but didn't get sick despite the whole ship being a hotbed for coronavirus, and is looking at their immune response. They are finding that resistance is probably is a function of T cell immunity - an extraordinarily complex system to study that is unique to you and your exposure to previous diseases. So finding the one molecular change, or more likely the combination of a number of small molecular changes that make your T cells capable of resisting coronavirus, is astonishingly hard to do and requires very large numbers of people. And requiring large numbers of people always takes time. Defining the populations of definitely exposed but resistant is also really hard when testing has been so piecemeal.

I don't know why you think you know more about how deadly and dangerous this disease is then the huge combination of epidemiologists, virologists, public health experts and all the associated professions (my husband is currently looking at blood samples from people who got cardiac COVID complications for example, to see if we can identify them ahead of time and get ahead of the game re. those complications) about this disease but I assure you, they have been working full steam ahead on these exact questions since March. But doing this well takes time and numbers and samples, which are hard to obtain in a hospital environment that is chaotic and overworked.

On a totally different matter:
Coach - I would prop porta potty doors open during the course of a meet when they weren't in use - wouldn't smell great but as you say, would probably eliminate most of the aerosol risk.
Aug 9, 2020 7:01 PM # 
Regarding toilets, this seems like a great opportunity to adopt the open-air, tarp-divided toilets used at orienteering events in Scandinavia.
Aug 9, 2020 8:04 PM # 
Leftists are controlled by emotions, not facts. There are exceptions, of course...but overall they buy into any position that speaks to their security or manipulates their feelings.
Aug 9, 2020 8:17 PM # 
Aug 10, 2020 10:28 AM # 
Motivated emotional reasoning is apolitical... perhaps bipartisan is a better word. And there is a good body of research literature to support my contention.
Aug 10, 2020 10:38 AM # 
I have occasionally wondered how hard it would be to sneak into Canada, just hypothetically, I have no motivation to actually try it. Having looked at some potential crossing points up near Lake Champlain, I think it would be pretty easy if there were somebody to pick me up on the other side.
Aug 10, 2020 11:17 AM # 
I can think of at least two World Cup series in the 1990s where some participants made use of their forest navigation skills to get into eastern European countries they didn't have visas for.
Aug 10, 2020 11:41 PM # 
@jj: Even though you were probably just joking...
I feel I need to point out that a not-to-be-named person, whom we both know, served as the "pick-up person" in a similar, but opposite direction, operation, was caught, along with the border crosser, and got into some serious, legal trouble. On top of that, the illegal crossing took place on land, presumably forest, not on open water.
Aug 11, 2020 1:56 AM # 
I was serious that it didn't look that hard, if you use your head. I was also serious that I have no need to try it.

It's like looking at a six foot wide gap between the roofs of tall buildings. I'm pretty sure I can make that jump. I don't need to try.
Aug 11, 2020 1:51 PM # 
There was lots of smuggling of booze across the St. Lawrence River into the US during prohibition. Even narrower river crossings across the Niagara and Detroit Rivers. When I did a kayak weekend with a club based in Windsor, Ontario, they told us to have our passports in our kayaks even though we weren't landing on the US side or the river.

At least on the US side, there has been a large increase in remote surveillance since 9/11.

I remember when I was a kid on the Maid of the Mist tour boat in Niagara Falls and the boat picked up passengers on both sides of the river, with something like different colored tickets depending on the country, my father commented that it wouldn't be hard to smuggle someone across the border by making an arrangement in advance to swap tickets on the boat. But I believe these days there are separate boats from the US and Canadian sides of the river.
Aug 11, 2020 2:35 PM # 
And watch out for the Canadian "maritime posse of retirees "
Aug 11, 2020 5:28 PM # 
And from today's news:

Authorities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are warning people not to participate in an annual tubing party this Sunday on the river that separates Sarnia, Ont., from Port Huron, Mich.

The so-called “Float Down,” which is more than 30 years old, sees thousands of people float on inner tubes and rafts down the St. Clair River.

Participants in the unsanctioned event enter the river near Port Huron, then float downstream for several kilometres.

In a joint statement, the U.S. and Canadian coast guards warn of the serious legal repercussions of crossing the border, which has been closed to non-essential travel since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2016, adverse weather blew nearly 1,600 Americans ashore in Sarnia, Ont., and the city had to use public transit buses to ferry them back across the border.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley says this year, authorities are planning for a much more severe response should any Americans find themselves on the Canadian side.

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