The club has been monitoring closely official advice concerning Coronavirus COVID-19 and match days. We felt that it is appropriate to share with all players, members, supporters, support staff and parents the latest communication that we have received from the RFU via the National Clubs Association (NCA) which represents Rosslyn Park and the 47 other clubs in in National Leagues 1, 2, North and South. Below is the advisory email that we received on 28 February. We have reproduced it verbatim and intend to follow this and subsequent advice as and when it is issued.
Please do not hesitate to contact me in the first instance regarding any of the below.
Coronavirus COVID-19 and match days update from RFU & NCA
With the evolving status of the Coronavirus outbreak we wanted to make sure clubs are updated with the latest advice with respect to Coronavirus COVID-19 and match days. At a COBRA meeting on 26th February the effect of Covid-19 on sport, gatherings and events was discussed and the Government guidance is currently not changing (although of course it is a very fluid situation).
The advice given by the Chief Medical Officer and Foreign Office is in place and DCMS is not giving any different advice. At present therefore they are not treating sporting events any differently from any other large gatherings.
The overall risk of coronavirus to the UK remains moderate. The government continues to closely monitor the spread of the virus and the best place to read the latest updates is on the government website Click here
For the Public Health England (PHE) guidance for employers and businesses Click here
Match day advice for stadia (which Rosslyn Park intend to follow)
Best current advice would be to make provision for the following at all stadia on match days;
- Ensure soap dispensers, hand towels, alcohol gel are available in public areas.
- Have hand washing signs in public toilets to ensure a proper technique is used. See: Handwashing techniques online
- Provide match day staff with small bottles of alcohol gel.
It is advised each ground should also develop an SOP (which RPFC have done) for the management of suspected Coronavirus patient attending a game and becoming unwell. (If well send them home so that they can self-isolate and call NHS 111). If unwell and need assessment and care then an isolated room is advisable until the patient can be transferred to hospital.
Because of the way that the virus is transmitted, it is important to be able to trace who people may have been in immediate contact with if they were to later test positive for coronavirus. Where possible, any systems or processes that can be put in place to aid this would be beneficial.
A further recommended step would be to have posters up asking the public to NOT to enter the stadium if they fit the criteria outlined by Public Health England. For convenience this advice is presented again below. It would also be good practice to remind people via online platforms before they get to the stadium of this advice.
If you have returned from the listed specific areas since February 19th, you should call NHS 111 and self-isolate at home even if you do not have symptoms:
• Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
• Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
• Hubei province
If you have returned from the below listed areas since February 19th and developed symptoms, however mild, you should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to self-isolate if you have no symptoms.
• Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
If you have returned from previously identified geographic areas within the past 14 days and developed symptoms, however mild, you should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS 111.
If you believe you have been in contact with a positive tested patient for Coronavirus you should remain at home and call NHS 111.
Signs and symptoms
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
• difficulty in breathing
Preventing spread of infection
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
• put used tissues in the bin straight away
• wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
• try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
• clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
• do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Specific advice for teams, players officials and support staff
Team members are to be reminded of the importance of good personal hygiene especially hand washing with soap and hot water.
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch any coughs or sneezes.
• Avoid sharing towels, shirts and bibs. Where necessary remove any shared shirts, bibs and towels for laundering, this should be done on a hot wash 60°C.
• The use of paper hand towels is recommended.
If players are worried about symptoms, they should call NHS 111 for advice. Do not go in person to your club doctor, GP or other healthcare environment.
The position is evolving all the time and we will endeavour to keep you updated as anything changes.
Medical Services Director, RFU
Last updated: 27/02/2020