Swim Alberta has implemented stringent COVID-19 restrictions after the Canadian province declared a state of emergency on September 15 after a surge in cases.
The most noteworthy rule put in place was the suspension of all inter-club and invitational competitions until October 18th, meaning clubs won’t be allowed to race against one another for another three weeks, at the earliest.
Swim Alberta will grant sanctions for intrasquad meets where enhanced protocols are adequately demonstrated and all other sanctioning policies are met.
For competitions scheduled beyond October 18, they’ll remain pending until a determination is made regarding whether or not the inter-club meet suspension goes beyond the planned date. Swim Alberta says clubs should “have plans in place that allow for adaptability and flexibility.”
Alberta announced a new program in conjunction with its state of emergency on September 15 that will require people to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry to participating businesses and social events.
However, this “Restrictions Exemption Program” does not apply to youth (under age 18) sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities, including swim clubs. For swimmers aged 18 and over, the club can either implemented the exemption program or will have to follow restrictions that will only allow indoor one-on-one training with three meters of physical distancing and no group indoor classes.
Alberta reported 1,682 new cases of COVID-19 and 34 deaths on Wednesday, marking the highest daily death toll since January. In total, there are 20,306 active cases across Alberta, which has an approximate population of 4.44 million. The total death toll stands at 2,697.
Alberta leads Canada by a wide margin in daily COVID cases and active cases. Over the last seven days, 11,420 of the 30,538 new COVID cases in Canada have come from Alberta, or just over 37 percent, despite only representing about 11.5 percent of the country’s population.
With Alberta’s active COVID-19 case count exceeding 20,000, the next-highest province, neighboring British Columbia, is just over 6,500. Ontario, the country’s biggest province by population with nearly 14.8 million, reports just under 5,000 active cases.
According to CBC metrics, 63.1 percent of Alberta’s total population have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or 74.2 percent of those eligible. 71 percent (83.4 percent of those eligible) have received at least one dose.
Canadian COVID-19 cases have gone down significantly relative to their peak in April, though a recent uptick sees the nation with roughly half of the active cases compared to its highest point. In Alberta, however, the active case count is nearing its highest ever.