‘Lots of Gray Zone’: British Columbia’s newest health system causes confusion and frustration in amateur sports leagues

'Lots of Gray Zone': British Columbia's newest health system causes confusion and frustration in amateur sports leagues

Vancouver – In British Columbia’s lower mainland region, amateur sports are being curtailed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Contact sports, such as hockey and boxing, are currently suspended until November 23. For outdoor sports teams who can continue playing, the teams have been banned from traveling outside their health authority area.

Danny Miller believes his family and a few others suffer from unintended neglect of the public health system.

The Miller family lives in Vancouver, but his son’s hockey club is in Burnaby, which falls under the jurisdiction of Fraser Health. This means that the eight-year-old cannot play with his team.

“My son is one of two people out of 12 on his team who cannot go to his clinic. It is simply not fair. There is no good alternative for us and others in this situation,” he said.

Dr Bonnie Henry said the goal of the new rule is to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to different communities.

“We know we’re bringing risks with us,” she said Thursday. “Now, moving in and out of the entire mainland is something we don’t want people to do.”

But Miller said the health system has flaws because teams in each health zone can still travel to other communities.

“It does not prevent people from moving from city to city. A person in Burnaby can go to Chilliwack or Abbotsford or Langley, but someone who lives on the other side of Boundary Road in Vancouver cannot go to Burnaby,” he said.

“Too many contradictory statements”

The Sunshine Coast youth soccer coach is concerned about the rules.

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Noah Mithrush believes football matches should stop, just like hockey.

“It’s a total contact sport.” Once you step into that field, you hit other players, and you sweat, ”she said.

Mithrush added that even if the players were not coughing each other, they were still “in the stadium with 22 other people.”

The Sunshine Coast is within Vancouver Coastal Health, which means that the Mithrush team can still ride the ferry and play in Metro Vancouver, which appears to conflict with the county recommendation on restricting travel.

“There are a lot of gray areas, and there are a lot of contradictory statements, which leaves room for a lot of uncomfortable unknowns,” said Mithrush. “I don’t feel comfortable taking girls there for a full contact sport, and then taking them back, because in my opinion, I’m facing them exposed.”

The new health system is scheduled to run for two weeks, ending on November 23.

But both Miller and Mithrush said they wanted to speak out now, should the matter be extended.

The concern is that the numbers are not declining and that the order has not been canceled, or worse, that it has been expanded. And you know, we just want to express this now, otherwise they might not be aware of the problem within 10 days, ”Miller said.

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