Football is the world’s most popular sport. In Kenya it equally enjoys massive following sharing a similar fanbase with athletics followed closely by rugby. The game’s popularity cuts across all age groups from the young ones to the elderly both male and female.
With the latest surge in infections from the virus, it is advisable for trainers, coaches, and athletes to take extra precautions while engaging in sports activities in within the and even beyond.
To reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, players, coaches, and trainers are urged to get vaccinated. In this article, we will look at how refugee coaches, athletes and sports programs can minimize the spread of the virus during sports activities in the camp.
How can players and coaches help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water before and after games/trainings.
- Carry an alcohol-based rub (sanitizer) and use it often.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a bent elbow or tissue
- Clean and wipe any high touch surfaces and equipment such as balls, uniforms and other training gears with soap and water or sanitizer, before and after use.
- Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect like towels and clothing.
- Avoid touching surfaces, mouth, and nose
Should players wear mask while training or playing?
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend wearing masks during intense exercise. This is because sweat can make the mask wet and make breathing difficult. Furthermore, this might also result in the growth of micro-organisms.
However, coaches, players on the bench and spectators should always wear mask while maintaining the recommended social distance.
What should the team do if one of the members has been exposed to COVID-19 or has tested positive?
- If a team member tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in contact with as suspect or confirmed COVID-19 case, he/she should be discouraged not to attend trainings or play any games with the team.
- Coaches should notify sports program administrators or local health officials in the camp of any suspected case of COVID-19 in their teams.
- Coaches should have team roster with current contact information for every player in their teams.
Does the entire team need to quarantine if a player tests positive?
The best way players can protect themselves and others is to stay home for 5 days and follow the governments guidelines.
Teams should also consult with the local health officers to determine if the rest of the team members are considered close contacts.
Where testing is possible, players are encouraged to test after 05 quarantine days
What can sports programs heads do to help teams manage the spread of COVID-19?
- Educate players and coaches on how to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Educate players and coaches on the protective measures they can take during games and trainings.
- Ensure alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, soap and water are readily available at game sites.
- ensure public health guidelines are followed.
- Display information in highly visible locations to promote protective measures and mitigation strategies against COVID-19.
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