Dear Parents of Junior Curlers,
The Board of the Chester Curling Club has been carefully considering the ramifications of the restrictions announced on Tuesday afternoon by Premier McNeil and Dr Strang and have consulted with league chairs and other key organizers within the club. The expressed purpose of these new provincial restrictions is to prevent further community spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly within HRM where almost all of the latest cases have occurred. For clubs within HRM, the result of these restrictions is obvious in the text of the associated regulations, but for our club, which is just outside the boundaries of HRM, the impacts are not so clear.
The measure which impacts our club most is the requirement to avoid all non-essential travel into and out of HRM. Since a significant number of our members reside within the HRM boundaries identified by Dr Strang, they are directly impacted as they are forbidden from travelling to the club. Furthermore, some members of the club travel into HRM regularly for essential purposes but live outside the HRM boundaries, so although the text of the restrictions may not apply to them, they pose an increased risk of exposure to other members of the club. Dr Strang was quite clear on this point. Lastly, some of our juniors either live in HRM or have one or more parents who work in HRM – and a number of junior league coaches are also affected by these new restrictions (either living in HRM, or travelling back and forth to HRM for work).
The expedient response to this uncertainty would be to close down all club operations for at least a few weeks, as if we were within the boundaries of the latest restrictions. That approach, however, does not take into account the positive benefits to the physical and mental health of those members of the club who do have the good fortune to both live outside of the formal boundaries and to not be required to travel into HRM regularly for work or other essential activities.
In order to address these factors, we have agreed to make several changes to club operations until such time as further changes are made to public health regulations. The most important one that impacts you, as parents of junior curlers, is the following:
Members of the club that live within the boundaries of HRM as designated in the latest restrictions, are forbidden by public health regulation to travel to the club. If you live outside the boundaries, but you, or a household member, travel regularly to HRM for essential activities, we would strongly recommend that your child not participate in any club activities.
A consequence of this is that the Sunday junior league program needs to be restructured temporarily. If your child comes from a household unaffected by connections to HRM (as per the above) and would like to participate in a drop-in junior league on Sunday afternoons, please contact Beth to let her know. If there are enough children to make up regular teams, it will be possible to have some games while these public health measures are in place.
The Monday junior programs will continue for all juniors not impacted by the restriction above.
While these restrictions to our operations may seem overreactive, the Club’s location at the edge of HRM as well as our demographics, puts us in unique circumstances and, in our view, obliges us to follow both the letter and the spirit of the latest public health restrictions. The best thing we can do in the next few weeks to keep the club up and running is to do our part to help contain COVID-19 in the HRM area and not have it spread to surrounding communities.
We hope that if everyone does their best to stem the recent surge in community spread of COVID-19, then we will be able to get back to normal sooner rather than later.
And we are looking forward to seeing all the kids back curling soon – and the Board will be in touch with new developments once we know more.
Jeff, Beth, Michael, Carla and Linda