The California Heat Executive Board (Board) recognizes the ever-changing landscape as it pertains to COVID-19. In response to the August 25, 2021 issuance of the Protocol for Organized Youth Sports: Appendix S (Protocol) by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), we are adopting the protocol listed in this policy. By aligning to the LACDPH COVID protocol, we are optimizing the player’s ability to play hockey as long as possible.
The California Heat is a member of the Southern California Amateur Hockey Association (SCAHA). SCAHA is made of many travel clubs within many different counties. As a member of SCAHA, we look to them for guidance to ensure we are in line with the league as a whole. As COVID-19 protocols are different within each county, the SCAHA Executive Board has asked each club in the league to provide their specific COVID-19 protocols to them. SCAHA will post each club’s protocols to the SCAHA website as soon as possible. This will allow every club to be aware of the protocols for the clubs and rinks they will be visiting throughout the season. They have also asked that each club post their specific COVID-19 policy to their website.
The LACDPH Health Officer order mandates that youth sports leagues must do the following:
When indoors, all participants (players and coaches), regardless of vaccination status, are required to bring and wear masks. Youth sports participants (players and coaches) must wear a face mask even while engaging in physical activity in any indoor setting (this includes while on the ice). Spectators attending indoor events must wear masks.
COVID testing is required for all non-vaccinated (players and coaches).
In addition, testing must be performed weekly and results must be available before the competition begins or the athlete or staff member may not be present at the competition
As such, the Board is putting forth the following policy in alignment with the LACDPH Protocol for Youth Sports.
Mask Rules for Participants and Coaches
The California Heat will follow the LACDPH mask requirements as of September 1, 2021. As such, we will require all players and coaches to wear a mask when participating in any activity both on and off the ice. Additionally, the current protocol at the LA Kings Valley Ice Center is that all visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while at the rink. Social distancing is also required and will be enforced
According to the LACDPH, a person is considered to have been exposed to COVID-19 when they are within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for longer than 15 minutes. Typically, for our teams this time occurs while in the locker room. The California Heat will work with the LAKVIC to ensure each team will have two locker rooms. This will allow our players to maintain social distancing while getting ready for practices and games. Additionally, all players and coaches must wear a mask while in the locker rooms.
Alternatives to locker room use:
Players are welcome to come to the rink fully dressed for on ice practices or games. They may use the locker rooms to lace up their skates.
On-Ice Practices and Games
The California Heat will be following the LACDPH weekly COVID-19 testing requirements as of September 1, 2021. The revised protocol dated 8/30/2021 states the following:
At the current time, with high community transmission occurring in Los Angeles County, the following testing requirements apply to all participating athletes and staff/coaches/volunteers. Persons who show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they have recovered from/completed isolation for laboratory confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days should not be included in routine COVID-19 screening testing if the person is asymptomatic. Screening for not fully vaccinated persons who were previously infected with COVID-19 should start 90 days after the first day of symptoms from the or the day of collection of first positive test.
Indoor Moderate or High Risk Sports for children of all ages and staff/coaches/ volunteers. A weekly negative test result is required for all participants who are not fully vaccinated, including children who are playing and staff/coaches/volunteers; weekly school testing fulfills this obligation.
Weekly testing for COVID-19 with a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) such as PCR, or an Antigen (Ag) test is required. Further information regarding the type of tests can be located at the LACDPH website here.
As such, we ask that non-vaccinated players and coaches validate they have obtained a negative covid test prior to any games against other clubs held within the County of Los Angeles. The club will utilize the HeadCheck app, which will allow applicable participants to record their validation.
As stated above, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to test weekly upon showing proof of full vaccination.
Screen for Symptoms and Isolate
In accordance with the LACDPH protocols, we ask that all participants and coaches self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to attending all California Heat activities. This will include all practices and games played within LA County.
The health screening includes the following - a check-in concerning fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell and or determining whether the parent/player/coach has had contact with a person known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
The club will utilize the health screening questions available through the HeadCheck website and app. This is the same program we are utilizing for our concussion and injury reporting protocols. Parents can download the app and log in using their HeadCheck credentials.
The app is available on IOS and Android. A step-by-step guide for completing the health screening both online and on the app can be found here.
Positive COVID-19 Test Results
If a participant or coach receives a positive COVID-19 test result, please inform the club by contacting your team manager immediately. We ask that a participant or coach not return to team activities until they have met the LACDPH protocols for a return from quarantine. There are also additional protocols if a participant or coach comes into close contact with someone who has tested positive.
The California Heat will follow the LACDPH COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan Guidance for Organized Youth Sports Programs for implementation of a COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan (EMP). The EMP will help to establish and allow the club to follow a plan for all participants and staff who may have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or may need to isolate because of exposure, or have a positive test result for COVID-19.