Orienteering and COVID-19

Orienteering and COVID-19

OACT will be putting in place measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In some cases this will see the cancellation of events. An up-to-date list of all cancelled events is available below.

This article will be updated with any new information or event cancellations.
Latest update: 9:45am 25 March 2020All Street Series events cancelled until further notice.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a nationwide ban on all outdoor events with more than 10 people, all OACT events are cancelled until further notice.


Event Cancellations

The following events have been cancelled or postponed. Any further event cancellations will be added to this list.
Last updated: 9:45am 24 March 2020.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a nationwide ban on all outdoor events with more than 10 people, all OACT events are cancelled until further notice.

Street Series

All Street Series events are cancelled until further notice.

Autumn SC-ORE Series, 17-26 March

All remaining Autumn SC-ORE events have been cancelled (St Monica’s 17/3, Maribyrnong 19/3, Majura 26/3). It is hoped that the events will be rescheduled at a later date.

Mongarlowe Map Madness, 28-29 March

The Mongarlowe weekend activities have been cancelled, including the ACT Classic Series middle distance race scheduled for 28 March.

Focus On Girls, 28 March – 23 April

The 2020 FOG series has been cancelled.

MTBO Coaching Workshops, 28th March – 14 May

The face-to-face MTBO Coaching Workshops on 28th March, 23 April, and 14 May have been cancelled.
The coaching workshop will instead be offered online in ZOOM format, see here for details.

ACT Sprint Series #10: Canberra Grammar School, 29 March

Permission to use the area has been withdrawn and the event has therefore been cancelled. No alternative event will be offered.

ACT Sprint Championships, 4 April

The ACT Sprint Championships scheduled to be held at ADFA on Saturday 4th April 2020 are postponed to an as yet undefined date.

The organisers, course setter and controller remain keen to hold a high quality championship event at ADFA. It is hoped that the event may be rescheduled later this year.

Australian 3-Days Easter 2020, NSW Middle and Long Distance Championships, and associated mid-week events, 10-19 April

The decision has been made in coordination with OA and ONSW that the Australian 3-Days Easter 2020, NSW Middle and Long Distance Championships, and mid-week events will be postponed to Easter 2021 and the week following Easter 2021. The 3-Days scheduled for Queensland and the ACT in 2021 and 2022 respectively will now take place in 2022 and 2023.

The same events will be held, subject to land owner approval, at the same venues.

If you have already entered, your entry will be transferred to the same events in 2021; you will be able to change your entry class later on. If you want a refund, the organisers will refund your entry subject to a small fee of 10% to cover costs clubs and individuals have already incurred and will be lost. Please advise Ron Pallas by email on .

The Carnival organisers will be talking to the tourism body in Orange to ensure accommodation providers are aware of the postponement and to ask for forbearance in regard to deposits.

Gold Coast NOL Sprint Weekend, 25-26 April

Round 3 of the National Orienteering League has been cancelled due to uncertainty of access to campus venues.

Wildfire Sports Autumn Classics, Broulee, 16-17 May

The 2020 Wildfire Sports Autumn Classics to be held at Broulee including rounds of the National Orienteering League, ACT League, and NSW State League, have been postponed postponed to an as yet undefined date.  

The organisers, course setter and controller remain keen to hold a high quality championship weekend at the same locations. It is hoped that the events may be rescheduled later this year.


CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19) POLICY – ACT ORIENTEERING EVENTS

As at 1.00pm 17 March 2020

Orienteering is a sport that generally involves no physical contact between participants and little by way of mass gathering. As a consequence, but with appropriate precautions and always subject to ongoing updates from health professionals and our governments, Orienteering ACT (OACT) will continue to try to provide opportunities for community orienteering even during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period if it remains safe to do so.

ACT Government position

On 16 March 2020 the ACT Health Minister declared a public health emergency in response to the spread of COVID-19, warning it could remain in place for months. The declaration gives ACT chief health officer Kerryn Coleman special powers to take any action or give any direction that may be necessary to keep the community safe.

All gatherings at ACT schools have been cancelled, including assemblies, sports carnivals and excursions. All gatherings of more than 500 people have been cancelled as a result of the virus, impacting sports matches and arts events. The NSW Health Minister has made a similar public health order to force the immediate cancellation of major events with more than 500 people.

We take the safety of our members and all those involved in organising and delivering competitions and events very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation and potentially introduce further guidance or measures as the situation evolves.

Events

The Australian 3-Days Easter 2020, 2020 NSW Middle and Long Distance Championships and mid-week events have been postponed to Easter 2021 and the week following Easter 2021.

John Harding has published specific guidance relating to precautions to be taken at the Street O series. These guidelines are available here.

Other events may be cancelled, suspended or postponed, either proactively by OACT or as a result of events outside our control (eg closure of schools, parks or other event locations). We will notify these via our website and/or Eventor as soon and with as much notice as practicable. Most events are currently going ahead and we are offering guidance to organisers to minimise risks.

Competitors, Spectators and Event Officials Guidance

You must not come to any ACT or NSW orienteering event or activity if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • If you are feeling unwell.
  • If you have been in close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 until the 14 days isolation period is over.
  • If you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days.
  • If you are awaiting a COVID-19 test result.

Risk Management

Orienteering has some activities which can involve participants touching things other participants have touched, including maps, timing devices and control punches. Event organisers can reduce the risk of close contact for orienteers, officials and volunteers by taking the following precautions:

  • No drinks controls or water at start or finish for competitors. Competitors should bring their own drinks, including to carry on courses.
  • Asking competitors to bring their own hand sanitisers.
  • Providing hand washing or sanitising facilities at the assembly area if possible.
  • Briefing volunteers on how to practice good hygiene and make it easy for volunteers and attendees to practice good hygiene.
  • Providing refunds to prepaid entrants who absent themselves for health reasons
  • Checking first aid kits have thermometers and emergency local contact information is known.
  • No results displays at events (as this typically lead to people crowding close together) – make results available in real time on phones and/or publish results ASAP after events.
  • No presentations at events.
  • No key boxes at events.
  • Arranging a way for maps to be handed out with minimal contact, eg. an organiser wearing gloves places each map in a place where the competitor can pick it up without touching another person.
  • Maps will be kept by competitors following finish at all events.
  • Providing some protective equipment, disinfectant and briefing to event volunteers.
  • Arranging starts and finishes to allow 1m distance between people.

Event organisers should draw attendees attention to these Risk Management points at the event. They should also provide information in advance about the personal hygiene facilities available at the event to help people in make an informed decision as to whether to attend.

Contingency planning

Until further notice any event organiser holding an event must consider what they will do in the following situations:

  1. If there are known coronavirus cases at an event venue or amongst the likely competitors, spectators or volunteers. OACT strongly recommends cancellation or postponement.
  2. If the Government requires that outdoor sporting events only proceed if organisers can ensure that competitors, spectators and event volunteers are able to maintain a minimum distance between themselves.
    If the event proceeds, the organiser must be able to ensure separation in areas where they have direct control – the assembly area, start, finish and results areas. OACT recommends volunteers enforce separation of people in these areas. The organisers must remind competitors when they start that separation requirements must be followed whilst they compete.
  3. If the Government bans indoor assemblies. If this occurs, and an event has an indoor component, the indoor component must not occur. An indoor component includes assembly area, an associated indoor meeting, social event, etc.
  4. If the Government locks down intended competition areas (including schools). Any event in such a lock down area would be cancelled or postponed. Other organisers of similar events must then make a decision as to whether their event should be cancelled or postponed.

This situation is changing rapidly and we will aim to keep you informed of any further developments or changes.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the OACT office or a nominated event organiser.

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