The California Heat Executive Board (Board) recognizes the ever-changing landscape as it pertains to COVID-19. In response to the 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 Protocols were last revised by the LACDPH on 01/03/2022.
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 make their specific COVID-19 protocols available on their respective websites. This will allow every club to be aware of the protocols for the clubs and rinks they will be visiting throughout the season.
The LACDPH Health Officer order mandates that youth sports leagues must do the following:
In all indoor settings coaches, staff, volunteers, referees, officials, and spectators, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask at all times.
Require all participants, regardless of vaccination status, to bring and wear masks. Masks are required to be always worn indoors when participants are not actively practicing, conditioning, competing, or performing. Masks are also required while on the sidelines, in team meetings, and within locker rooms and weight rooms. When actively practicing, conditioning, or competing in indoor sports, masks are required by participants as practicable.
Participants and families are asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to attending youth sports activities.
Routine periodic screening testing for COVID-19 with a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) such as PCR, or an Antigen (Ag) test.
A weekly negative test result is required for all participants whose vaccine status is not up-to-date, including children who are playing and staff/coaches/volunteers; weekly school testing fulfills this obligation. If a team determines that requiring all players to remain masked during heavy exertion is not practicable, and players elect to participate without their masks as a result, all team members, regardless of vaccination status, are required to have screening tests for COVID-19 performed at least weekly
Youth sports programs must exclude or isolate any participant, coach, or spectator that is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Follow the LACDPH Exposure Management Plan for any reported positive COVID-19 cases.
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 January 4, 2022. As such, we will require participants, regardless of vaccination status, to bring and wear masks. Masks are required to be always worn indoors when participants are not actively practicing, conditioning, competing, or performing. Masks are also required in team meetings, and within locker rooms and weight rooms.
We understand requiring all players to remain masked during heavy exertion is not practicable. As such we leave the decision to wear a mask during practices and games to the parent and player.
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 require all participants to 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 but must keep their mask on until they are on the ice.
Weekly COVID-19 Testing
The California Heat will be following the LACDPH weekly COVID-19 testing requirements as of January 4, 2022. The revised protocol dated 1/3/2022 states the following:
At the current time, with high or substantial community transmission occurring in Los Angeles County, the following testing requirements apply to all participating athletes and staff/coaches/ referees/volunteers.
1. Persons who show proof that their vaccination status is fully up-to-date against COVID-19 and are not playing unmasked nor with unmasked teammates indoors, or 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.
2. Screening for persons whose vaccine status is NOT up-to-date and who were previously infected with COVID-19 should start or restart screening testing 90 days after the first day of symptoms or from the day of collection of first positive test (if they were asymptomatic).
Weekly testing for COVID-19 with a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) such as PCR, or an Antigen (Ag) test is required for all California Heat Players and Coaches regardless of vaccination status.
As such, we ask that all players show proof of their weekly testing to their respective Team Manager prior to any games against other clubs held within the County of Los Angeles.
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. Parents are to use the HeadCheck app to record the positive test results within the health screening. 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.