Yesterday, we reported that Ontario shut down most indoor training facilities, giving exception to Olympic and Paralympic trainees. In light of this, Swim Ontario and Swimming Canada are creating a list of eligible swimmers based on the reinstated Provincial High Performance Exemption regulation. That list now also includes Canadian Junior Championship qualifiers.
This regulation will allow certain athletes to access facilities. The list will be used by facilities to grant access, should they approve training for the listed swimmers. Swimming Canada will distribute the final list on Wednesday, January 5.
Public health measures for Ontario dictate that “A facility for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open if it meets the following conditions:”
- The facility is operated by, or for the sole use of, persons who are athletes, coaches or officials training or competing to be a part of Team Canada at the next summer or winter Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, if the persons are,
- Identified by a national sport organization that is either funded by Sport Canada or recognized by the Canadian Olympic Committee or the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and
- Permitted to train, compete, coach or officiate under the safety protocols put in place by a national sport organization.
Currently, Swimming Canada has the following parameters defined for its list of athletes:
- Olympic Program
- 2022 Trials qualifiers based on qualifying window of May 1, 2021-December 31, 2021 with SC and LC standards
- Canadian Jr Championship qualifiers based on qualifying window of May 1, 2021-December 31, 2021
- Paralympic Program:
- To be determined
Below are the qualifying standards for the Canadian Junior Championships:
Canadian Junior Championship Qualifying Standards
These measures will be implemented for at least 21 days, until January 27. Adjustments may be made based on public health trends and impacts on the health system.
Canada, like other countries, is seeing a spike in new cases of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron strain. The strain was first identified in southern Africa and has been spreading much more easily than previous ones. However, it tends to be less harmful to those who are infected.
On December 1, Canada was averaging just under 3,000 new cases per day. By January 2, that number had risen to over 33,000 cases per day. While deaths attributed to COVID-19 haven’t risen as quickly, they have still climbed by 47% in the last 14 days.
At 92 cases per 100,000 residents over the last week, Ontario ranks 2nd-worst to only Quebec (171/100,000) among Canadian provinces.
Canada has had among the world’s strictest controls over COVID-19, but have also kept cases relatively low. They rank among the lowest in the world in developed nations.