Tag: Rules

Health unit tweaks new rules to keep sports and recreation facilities open

LONDON, ONT. —
The Middlesex-London Health Unit has modified new rules announced on Wednesday to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which will allow many sports to continue.

“We want to make sure these sports can continue as much as possible,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie.

Fears were rampant throughout the sports community that the strict safety measures would sideline sports and potentially put some recreation facilities out of business.

“What’s become clear is that we need to tweak them so that we don’t disrupt sport,” Mackie said.

The revisions were shared during a virtual townhall meeting Friday afternoon for sports, recreation and fitness facility stakeholders.

“If we want to stay in a situation where we can continue to have team sports, we need to take action to prevent the spread,” Mackie said.

Among the adjustments to the Section 22 Class Order for Indoor Fitness Facilities, the total number of people permitted in a class at a facility cannot exceed 12. The maximum number of people allowed on a field of play, such as an ice pad or soccer field, is 25. For team sports with substitutions, a maximum of 12 people are allowed on the roster, and player waiting on the sidelines must maintain a two metre distance from one another.

Mackie says no contact is allowed between individuals during any play and that means there will be zero tolerance for any touching.

“When you are that close, you are entering a high-risk situation. It doesn’t matter if that’s a normal part of your sport, there’s no contact.”

Parents, athletes, coaches and owners of numerous sports facilities are expressing some relief.

“It’s definitely a positive move,” said the VP of Hockey Operations for The London Junior Knights, Kevin Gardner.

“We can work with it,” he said.

However, there is still some uncertainty about how the rules will be implemented and how they will play out on the ice. Still, Gardner says he’s pleased that the health unit has listened to the community’s concerns.

“It was a groundswell of all sports in the community that made the change, and the health unit listened, so that’s great.”

The Junior Knights have ice time scheduled for this Saturday and plan to implement the new rules.

“We want to follow the rules. We don’t want anyone to get sick,” said Gardner. But the unexpected changes, with no notice, came as a huge shock.

“That’s what upset everyone.”

Hundreds of stakeholders of indoor sports and recreation facilities, including volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics associations, as well as health clubs and yoga studios, took part in the town hall with health officials answering questions about how the new rules will impact them.

The health unit’s revised restrictions on gyms come after more than 70 people tested positive at a fitness studio in Hamilton. Officials say the studio was following all public health guidelines when the outbreak occurred.

Mackie says the orders are meant to avoid a situation where there are gaps in the rules

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What are Connecticut’s travel advisory rules during the coronavirus pandemic?

If you’re traveling anytime soon, you probably have questions about Connecticut’s COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols, what states they apply to, recent changes made in conjunction with New York and New Jersey, and more. Here’s where things stand right now.

What are the current rules?

Any traveler to Connecticut from a location on the state’s travel advisory list must self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the identified state or country — or have a negative test for COVID-19.

To be exempt from the self-quarantine, a traveler must have had a negative test for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut or at any time following arrival in the state.

Upon arrival, all travelers from states and territories on the state’s advisory must fill out a Travel Health Form and self-quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test; failure to do so can lead to a $500 civil penalty. As of Oct. 1, Connecticut had issued 42 fines for COVID-19 travel advisory violations, totaling $44,800.

Who does this apply to?

Although changes have been proposed in recent weeks, Gov. Lamont’s guidelines remain in place for anyone traveling to Connecticut who has spent 24 hours or longer (within 14 days prior to arrival) in a location on the travel advisory list. (If you aren’t staying in Connecticut for more than 23 hours, you are off the hook.)

You do not have to self-quarantine if you tested negative for COVID-19. However, you have to self-quarantine until you get your negative test results, and also submit written proof of your negative test result to the Commissioner of Public Health at DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov. The only tests that are acceptable are nucleic acid tests — not rapid antigen tests nor antibody tests.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of arriving in Connecticut and have been asymptomatic for 10 days, you don’t have to self-quarantine, as long as you submit your test results in writing to the Commissioner of Public Health at DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov when you get here. (You still have to fill out a travel health form.)

What locations are currently on Connecticut’s travel advisory list?

A lot. The list is updated every Tuesday or sooner if the need arises. Right now, there are 40 states and territories on Connecticut’s travel advisory list, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

New York and New Jersey will not be added to the list, though officials have discouraged non-essential travel between states. Gov. Lamont said he’d like to enter into a similar agreement with Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Let’s say you’re flying from California to Connecticut, with a short stopover in Chicago: you don’t have to self-quarantine when you get here (unless

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Connecticut edits travel quarantine rules

By swapping an “or” for an “and” in an executive order, Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut is seeking to avoid placing his state into Covid-19 quarantine.

Under an order Lamont signed on Sept. 16, people arriving in Connecticut from “a state with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average” were required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

But on Monday, Lamont announced that Connecticut had crossed its own threshold of 10 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days for the first time in months.

So Lamont said he would change the advisory to say that travelers whose states have both a high coronavirus case rate and over a 5 percent test positivity rate would have to quarantine or prove they have tested negative.

The advisory, Lamont said, “was becoming unenforceable,” so it was out with the “or” and in with the “and.”

The swap was not exactly a surprise. Last Thursday, Lamont signaled that a change in the state quarantine mandate was afoot.

“It’d be a little ironic if we were on our own quarantine list,” the governor said.

Connecticut is one of 40 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, that have reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases, the latest NBC News figures showed Tuesday.

Two weeks before a presidential election that has become a referendum on how President Donald Trump has handled the nation’s worst health crisis in over a century, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Connecticut jumped by 58 percent over the last two weeks to a total of 64,021, and the state’s death toll is 4,554 since the start of the pandemic, the figures show.

While Connecticut’s case load is small compared to states like California (882,138), Texas (872,919) and Florida (756,727), it is part of the region that was hit hardest in the first days of the pandemic and then managed to flatten the curve by taking aggressive steps to stop the spread.

In other coronavirus news:

  • Trump is heading to Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday for a campaign rally just two weeks after he was released from the hospital after he came down with a coronavirus infection. But first lady Melania Trump won’t be joining him. “Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from Covid-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.

  • Because of the pandemic, this year the U.S. could break the record of 71,000 drug overdoses set in 2019. “Covid-19 is exacerbating the already devastating overdose crisis,” Jules Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance told The Associated Press.

  • While Trump has repeatedly claimed that more testing is the reason Covid-19 case numbers have been climbing, an NBC News analysis found that coronavirus testing rates have actually fallen in “in several states where

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Connecticut revises travel quarantine rules to curb Covid surge

By swapping an “or” for an “and” in an executive order, Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut is seeking to avoid placing his state into Covid-19 quarantine.

Under an order Lamont signed on Sept. 16, people arriving in Connecticut from “a state with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average” were required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

But on Monday, Lamont announced that Connecticut had crossed its own threshold of 10 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days for the first time in months.

So Lamont said he would change the advisory to say that travelers whose states have both a high coronavirus case rate and over a 5 percent test positivity rate would have to quarantine or prove they have tested negative.

The advisory, Lamont said, “was becoming unenforceable,” so it was out with the “or” and in with the “and.”

The swap was not exactly a surprise. Last Thursday, Lamont signaled that a change in the state quarantine mandate was afoot.

“It’d be a little ironic if we were on our own quarantine list,” the governor said.

Connecticut is one of 40 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, that have reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases, the latest NBC News figures showed Tuesday.

Two weeks before a presidential election that has become a referendum on how President Donald Trump has handled the nation’s worst health crisis in over a century, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Connecticut jumped by 58 percent over the last two weeks to a total of 64,021, and the state’s death toll is 4,554 since the start of the pandemic, the figures show.

While Connecticut’s case load is small compared to states like California (882,138), Texas (872,919) and Florida (756,727), it is part of the region that was hit hardest in the first days of the pandemic and then managed to flatten the curve by taking aggressive steps to stop the spread.


In other coronavirus news:

  • Trump is heading to Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday for a campaign rally just two weeks after he was released from the hospital after he came down with a coronavirus infection. But first lady Melania Trump won’t be joining him. “Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from Covid-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.
  • Because of the pandemic, this year the U.S. could break the record of 71,000 drug overdoses set in 2019. “Covid-19 is exacerbating the already devastating overdose crisis,” Jules Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance told The Associated Press.
  • While Trump has repeatedly claimed that more testing is the reason Covid-19 case numbers have been climbing, an NBC News analysis found that coronavirus testing rates have actually fallen in “in several states where cases are
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Honolulu City Council bill mandates hotel employee callback rules

Oahu hotel operators hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are crying foul at a Honolulu City Council bill that would dictate to the managers which employees could be brought back to work as their facilities slowly reopen.

But the leadership and members of Unite Here Local 5, the hospitality workers union pushing the measure, say Bill 80 would ensure their laid-off workers return safely and in a fair manner that prioritizes seniority.

The measure gets its first airing before the Council Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee at 1 p.m. today.

The bill would require the hotels to recall a set amount of employees, calculated by the occupancy that the hotel will accommodate, with priority given to those with the most seniority in their respective job positions.

It would also require that the hotels “clean and sanitize every occupied guest room every day” and employ the number of housekeeping workers necessary to ensure that it is done.

Kekoa McClellan, spokesman for the American Hotel and Lodging Association Hawaii chapter, said the bill would make it more difficult for hotels to reopen at all.

“This whole recall language places an undue burden on the hospitality industry and will force the hotels to close and lay off thousands of employees,” McClellan said. “This action will hurt the very employees it is intended to help. A hotel cannot simply reopen based on some calculation of employee counts,” he said.

“If at 100% occupancy, I need six restaurants open to meet the need and demand of my guests. At 20% occupancy I’m not going to need all six restaurants open, and I wouldn’t have all six restaurants open,” McClellan said. “But as written, Bill 80 would force me to bring back 20% of my employees at all six restaurants.”

That also would apply to other areas of a hotel property, he said. A hotel wouldn’t open the same number of pools if the number of guests doesn’t warrant it, he said.

Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, agreed.

“This bill will handcuff a hotel property’s rehiring practices by tying it directly to occupancy, which will only discourage hotel management from reopening their doors until demand has increased and stabilized,” Hannemann said. “The indirect effect of Bill 80 would ultimately be that the local residents who comprise our tourism industry workforce will be kept off their jobs longer than necessary, for no discernibly good reason.”

Meanwhile, the requirement that each occupied room be cleaned and sanitized appears to contradict Centers for Disease Control safety guidelines and exposes employees to unnecessary risks, McClellan said.

Hannemann said such a requirement “flies in the face of both long-standing hotel protocols and current industry recommendations” and endangers the safety of hotel guests, front-line employees and their families.

The two groups also raised concerns about the legality of the bill.

“This proposed measure sets a dangerous precedent of local government overstepping its jurisdiction and meddling in the internal workings of private business entities,” Hannemann

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Connecticut plans to change travel advisory rules, so fewer states meet threshold for restrictions

Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday announced that the state of Connecticut will soon modify the rules of its travel advisory so that fewer states and territories qualify for the list.

Currently, Connecticut adds a state or territory to the travel advisory list if it averages 10 new daily cases per 100,000 residents or a positive test rest of more than 10% over a seven-day period.

But soon, those rules will shift so that the travel restrictions will only apply to areas with the same threshold of new daily cases, plus a positive test rest of more than 5% over a seven-day period.

That is, states and territories must meet both criteria in order to be placed on the list. Once added to the list, travelers arriving in Connecticut from the hotspot areas are require to either test negative for COVID-19 or self-quarantine for 14 days.

On Monday, Lamont said the rules haven’t actually been changed yet and are under discussion with New Jersey and New York. The three states have collaborated on their travel advisories since June. Lamont said he expects the rules will go into effect “probably in the next day or two.”

As with the existing rules, the restrictions will still apply to anyone who was out-of-state for more than 24 hours and who plans to be in-state for more than 24 hours. The restrictions apply to travel of any form — including by plane, car and train — although the state has so far mostly focused on airline travel.

Until the change goes into effect, Connecticut appears to qualify for its own travel advisory, as cases spike in the state and across much of the country. After the change goes into effect, Connecticut will no longer meet the criteria for its own advisory.

But as COVID-19 has surged across the country, including in some Northeast states, the number of states that qualify for the list has ballooned. Last week, on Oct. 13, the tri-state travel advisory included 36 states and two territories.

The number of restricted states prompted Lamont to say he would “rethink” the advisory, although he also said the advisory had been a helpful tool.

“Right now it applies to just about everybody except tor those of us in the Northeast, and our numbers are ramping up,” Lamont said last week.

The advisory “was becoming unenforceable,” Lamont said Monday.

Last week, Lamont floated the idea of scrapping the thresholds for hotspot states entirely, and instead requiring all travelers to self-quarantine or test negative.

But after publicly suggesting that more significant change, Lamont said Monday that he’d been convinced to go with a less severe change because he still wants restrictions that apply specifically to areas where the virus is spiking.

Emily Brindley can be reached at ebrindley@courant.com.

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©2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

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Massachusetts changes the criteria for its out-of-state travel rules



a sign on the side of a road: Road signs on Interstate 93 in Boston, March 28, 2020.


© Michael Dwyer / AP
Road signs on Interstate 93 in Boston, March 28, 2020.

Massachusetts is loosening the criteria for its out-of-state travel rules, amid an increase in COVID-19 levels within its own borders and in several neighboring states.

The state’s Department of Public Health announced Friday that is relaxing one of the metrics it uses to determine which states are classified as “lower risk,” meaning individuals visiting or returning from those states are not required to self-quarantine for two weeks or have proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

In a tweet, DPH officials said they were increasing the lower-risk maximum threshold from six daily cases per 100,000 residents to 10 daily cases per 100,000 residents “to bring Massachusetts’s standard more in line with other states.” New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut use the same 10-per-100,000 threshold for their tri-state travel rules.

The other metric used by Massachusetts, a positive test rate below 5 percent, remains unchanged. States must be below both of the thresholds, which are measured on a seven-day rolling average, to be considered lower risk.

After a month of near–weekly changes to the list, DPH officials also announced Friday that they would only move states into the higher-risk category based on two weeks of data, as opposed to one week. However, they said one week will remain the standard for moving states into the lower-risk category. Gov. Charlie Baker has said officials typically review state-by-state COVID-19 data each Wednesday.

The new changes, which take effect Saturday, come after Massachusetts itself, along with several neighboring states, saw COVID-19 incidence rates rise above its own accepted lower-risk threshold of six cases per 100,000 residents.

According to the COVID-19 tracking website used by DPH, as of Friday, the Bay State had a coronavirus rate of 9.5 cases per 100,000 and has been over the six-per-100,000 threshold for about two weeks.

Amid the recent uptick, Baker said Tuesday there was “no question that there will be more cases this fall” as the weather turns colder and Massachusetts ramps up its testing capacity. But he said the previously hard-hit state was more prepared to deal with the disease than it was in the spring and urged residents to remain vigilant.

New York and Connecticut also have seen COVID-19 incidence rates surpass the previous lower-risk threshold, though the positive test rates in all three states have remained close to 1 percent.

The new criteria also means that New Jersey, Hawaii, and Washington state will be re-added to the list of lower-risk states on Saturday. And for the first time, the country’s most populated state, California, will also be designated as lower risk, as DPH announced Friday.



map: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington will be classified as lower-risk states under the new criteria Saturday.


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