COVID-19 ADVISORY & UPDATES 04.28.20
UpdatedWednesday May 6, 2020 byRL Barlow.
Latest update May 5, 2020
Latest info posted below
Further info will be posted here weekly
EPYS (State Soccer Office) May 5, 2020
From: Eastern Soccer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: COVID-19 Update | Suspension of Soccer Activities Extended to May 31
To: All Members and Affiliates
From: Chris Branscome, Chief Executive Officer
CC: Board of Directors
Date: 5 May 2020
RE: Suspension of Soccer Activities Extended to May 31
I hope everyone has remained in good health and good spirits during this crisis. As Governor Wolf’s extension of the Stay at Home order for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be lifted in some areas of the state on May 8, the Board of Directors unanimously voted last night to extend our suspension of all soccer activities through May 31.
In our last update, we discussed the possibility that reaching May 8 with no further stay at home orders would not necessarily indicate that we will lift our suspension of soccer activities. As we approach May 8, only seven counties are targeted for Governor’s Yellow Phase. They are the counties that entirely comprise our District 5. The remaining 97% of our players reside in counties still in the Red Phase.
We’ve conferred with state legislators and municipal leaders as well as our colleagues in soccer and other youth or sport organizations. Discussions for re-opening of sport and other organized youth activities are of great concern and are being weighed separately from manufacturing, retail and hospitality concerns. Relevant to our world, all schools remain closed; playgrounds and other public recreational facilities, along with private health and fitness facilities, remain closed. The PIAA suspended all scholastic activity until June 30. US Soccer has suspended activities through June 30. PA West Youth Soccer has suspended activity through June 1. Professional sports are optimistic, but no team sport has arrived at a certain re-opening date.
In the new vernacular, even when we reach the Yellow Phase, congregate activity is still restricted and physical distancing still to be enforced. Team sports are a congregate activity. To use a phrase used so often at the beginning of this crisis, we are employing “an abundance of caution” as we wait for a few more weeks to ensure safety.
It is our sincerest hope that we are able to return to play next month. We have been developing return to play protocols and standards. We have worked directly with several local and national agencies to provide the safest environment we can. Wearing face masks, sanitizing equipment, fan limitations and other training limitations will be introduced in some capacity. It will be different and maybe a little odd at first. However, it will be well worth it if it means we can see our friends and colleagues back on the fields and get back to simply playing soccer.
Be well. Stay safe.
EPYS April 21, 2020
To: All Members and Affiliates
From: Chris Branscome, Chief Executive Officer
CC: Board of Directors
Date: 21 April 2020
RE: Suspension of Soccer Activities Extended
In compliance with Governor Wolf’s extension of the Stay at Home order for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all soccer activity in Eastern Pennsylvania is further suspended through May 8.
As mentioned in our previous memo, we are looking at the possibilities of how we can safely return to play, whenever that may be. Much of the discussion at the governmental level has focused on essential businesses and economic engines for the state, but I can assure you youth sports is being discussed as well. We are engaged with our own Medical Advisory Committee and other national partners in preparation of our eventual return.
Please note that in the recent “re-opening” guidelines presented by the federal government, organized youth activities remain closed in Phase One. Phase One only can be activated when our state meets the “gating” criteria. The decision on meeting that criteria still comes from Governor Wolf. Therefore, the possibility of reaching May 8 with no further stay at home orders does not necessarily indicate that we will lift our suspension of soccer activities, nor will the Governor allow it. We will provide that information as that date draws closer.
In the meantime, we will be hosting a virtual town hall this week. We will take your questions in advance and provide a video response that will be available to all on Friday. Information on how to send us your questions has been released on social media and on EPYSA.org. Click here to learn more.
The information we are receiving is somewhat encouraging, but we are not in the clear yet. All of us on the staff and the Board hope for the health and wellness of you and your extended families. We hope to bring you more positive news in the coming weeks. Continue to stay positive and stay safe.
April 20, 2020
Re: CBAA Intramural & Buckingham United Travel Soccer – Spring Season Update
Hello Soccer Families,
Given all of the uncertainty in so much of our lives we appreciate your patience as we work on determining the format for return-to-play for the spring soccer season. Important factors shaping our decisions are the recent announcement from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf closing all schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and the continuing social distancing restrictions in place.
Several questions that are on most of our minds:
- When and how will we return to normal play?
- What are the plans for refunds for spring leagues and tournaments?
- How is the current crisis affecting the finances of our non-profit organization?
We do not have answers to these questions at this time. However, we are thinking, talking and planning in order to be able to address all of these issues. The CBAA Executive Board is actively developing a COVID-19 Recovery Plan and will be able to announce it as soon as the plan is finalized.
Here is a statement from EPYS (Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer):
“The stay at home order for Pennsylvania is in effect through April 30. As of last week, schools will not reopen for the remainder of this year. Having spoken to several school districts, fields and facilities will be closed throughout the remainder of the academic year. Public parks are shut down as long as the stay at home order is in effect. Taking this into account, we are addressing extending the suspension of soccer activity into May and probably beyond. We will communicate that decision within the next 14 days.”
CBAA Intramural, Lil Bucks and TOPSoccer: What does this mean for you and your family?
· We have been forced to suspend the spring season.
· We are hopefully optimistic we’ll be able to come together and safely return to play soon.
· In order to keep our return to play as seamless as possible, we have transferred all registrations for Spring Intramural 2020 Soccer to Fall 2020.
· Your child/children are automatically registered for the Fall season. If you purchased a uniform, it will be distributed before the season begins.
CBAA Travel Soccer /Buckingham United: What does this mean for you and your family?
· We are waiting to hear from various sources including leagues and EPYS on the plans for the spring season. It is not clear that we will be able to return to play this spring.
· We are hopefully optimistic we’ll be able to come together and safely return to play this summer.
· Our Bimbo B-Active(MIC) Tournament decision is pending further review.
CBAA began 47 years ago as a township soccer program called Buckingham Athletics. We have grown into a “pillar of the local youth sports fabric” in Central Bucks with a very strong legacy. In these 47 years, we have never encountered a situation where all programs including soccer, lacrosse and basketball were paused indefinitely. We will bounce back from this unprecedented set of challenges and hope the many smaller clubs in our area will be able to as well.
How can you help CBAA?
· Donations: There have been very supportive families reaching out and offering to donate their registration fees to help overcome our financial loss this season. If you care to do so, please send Liz Zwickle addressing your plan to donate all or a portion of your Spring registration fees. We appreciate your generosity and we know that our organization means so much to so many of our families.
· Leadership: There are other ways to help CBAA. We have several CBAA Executive and CBAA Soccer Committee openings. We need your ideas and help. Please consider taking a position on either the CBAA Executive Board or soccer committee.
o CBAA Exec Board
§ At Large Member
o CBAA/Buckingham United Soccer Committee
§ Vice President
§ At Large Member
§ Events Coordinator
§ Office Help
Sponsorship: Do you know a company who could potentially be a sponsor? Please provide the contact information and our Sponsorship Committee will do the rest.
· Fundraising: We are looking forward to continuing our tradition of fundraising efforts which can include community wide events. If you are willing to serve with us in creating and running these important initiatives, please let us know.
We realize that there are different needs and structures for each CBAA program; basketball, lacrosse and soccer. The CBAA Executive Board is working together on a comprehensive recovery plan for all our programs. We are very thankful for the many hours that our volunteer board and committee members are spending on behalf of our families and children in the CBAA community. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we develop our strategies to return to play and build a strong organization for the future.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive!
Liz Zwickle, CBAA/BUSC Soccer Office
Becky Barlow, President
Posted April 15, 2020
First and foremost, I hope that all of you and your families are doing well. We all owe a great deal to our hospital workers and emergency services and those supplying us with groceries and food. I know that there are many in our soccer family that work in these capacities and other “essential services”, so thank you!
Uncertainty can be stressful. However we can alleviate any stress, we will. A return to play is what we all hope for, but one thing is certain, we will not play until the Governor and the medical experts tell us it is safe. We will follow the directives of the Governor’s office and use as our primary source of guidance throughout this crisis. Soccer is a non-essential business. Our health and well-being is the priority.
The stay at home order for Pennsylvania is in effect through April 30. As of last week, schools will not reopen for the remainder of this year. Having spoken to several school districts, fields and facilities will be closed throughout the remainder of the academic year. Public parks are shut down as long as the stay at home order is in effect. Taking this in to account, we are addressing extending the suspension of soccer activity into May and probably beyond. We will communicate that decision within the next 14 days.
From a state association perspective, we are now focused on preparing for the 20-21 season. Our assumption for now, is that we will start the new season on schedule, September 1st, with no change to the schedule. To that end, we will cancel the State Cups for 2020 as well as reduce or cancel other programs that we operate at the state level. Our intention is to lessen the stress on players, clubs and leagues this summer. There is guarded optimism from some leagues to play a short season, if allowed. Regardless of league play, the preparation period for 20-21- tryouts, registration, scheduling and so forth, will for be compacted for sure.
As you are trying to manage the uncertainly and prepare for the Fall, I must remind you to remain compliant with our bylaws and policies. Many travel clubs are considering waiving tryouts and inviting existing players back to rosters for the 20-21 season. That is a reasonable approach and is compliant with our bylaws. However, contacting players (or their parent/guardian) currently registered to another club to join your club is a violation of our bylaws. Do not contact payers registered to other clubs in regards to 20-21. If players are interested in moving to another situation, they must contact you. For intramurals and recreational team, please exercise judgment and be flexible so that no child is left out. Opportunity and participation is paramount at those levels.
This crisis has forced us to be fluid. Definitive answers would be ideal and will continue to provide those as we can, but we are reliant on state and federal directives. We are discussing with our national partners and our own member leagues to discuss issues that could impact the return to play, whenever that may be. To the extent we can provide insight and direction from those discussions, we will. Please stay at home, stay safe and be healthy for when we are ready to play once again.
April 8th, 2020
Good Afternoon Families,
We want to keep you updated on our work during this difficult time.
As we mentioned in an earlier email, in order to comply with the federal, state and local government directives on social distancing, all soccer activity is suspended through April 30.
A virtual Soccer Committee meeting took place on Friday and we discussed the possibilities of an abbreviated Spring season. Our hope is to have a better understanding as to whether this will be possible within the next few weeks. Please be patient while we determine the status of the soccer season. Our fully-remote team of office staff members and volunteer leaders continue to work together to monitor the situation. Like many community based non-profit youth programs, we are keeping our office support to a minimum to reduce expenses. Emails received may take a bit longer to return.
In the event the Spring season is abbreviated or cancelled, an email will go out explaining the process of refunds – this does not pertain to BUSC travel families as your fees have been collected by your team. Until we are back up and running fully, we do not have the capacity to process any refunds.
We ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this together and ask for your help in doing what each of us can do in your families and in our community to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Thank you for your continued support, well wishes and heartfelt emails as well as the offers for donations to help CBAA through these difficult times. We truly love our soccer families!
We look forward to seeing you on the fields when it’s safe and we all feel comfortable gathering in larger groups.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive,
Becky Barlow, CBAA Soccer President
CBAA DOO and DOC (Daragh & John)
CBAA Soccer Office Staff (Liz, Faye an Rocio)
CBAA Soccer Committee
POSTED: April 1.2020
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Communication
Coronavirus Update 03.31.2020
We hope to find you all in good health and good spirits during this interesting and challenging time in our lives. To comply with the federal and state government directives on social distancing, all sanctioned soccer activity is further suspended through April 30.
Furthermore, Governor Wolf has issued a stay at home order for 22 counties, most of which make up Eastern Pennsylvania. Please practice appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures, stay home where necessary, and hopefully we’re all going to be healthy and able to see each other back on the fields in good time.
Until such a time that we may play again, there are considerations for you to be aware of as you navigate this situation.
- Youth soccer is non-essential business. Please adhere to the government directives being put in place for everyone’s safety. Compliance is key to “flattening the curve.” Any training or practices being held are non-sanctioned and are not covered by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer insurance.
- Clubs and coaches are using technology such as Zoom, Facebook Live or Facetime to interact with their players. Any type of active training, with simultaneous on-line instruction is not sanctioned by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and is therefore not covered. Meetings and discussion groups may take place, when abiding by the approved policy.
- Please be aware of such policies, as directed by the federal SafeSport Act, on player and coach interaction. You can view the complete policy on our website, but most importantly refer to Appendix B on Digital Communications between any adult and a minor athlete. All interactions must be observable and interruptible by either a parent or another adult.
- We suggest, as many of you have done, providing individual training activities, videos or links to help keep kids fit and occupied rather than interactive online communications.
Last, please take the time to review the recent actions of Congress that may provide assistance for your organization.
- The CARES Act (Coronavirus-Aid-Relief-Economic security) may provide your organization financial support through the Emergency Small Business Loan program. There is a specific designation for non-profits with under 500 employees. Please read the attached synopsis and analysis of the program.
- Also included in the federal relief package is the ability for self-employed workers to apply for unemployment benefits. Many of your coaches and other contract employees will come under this umbrella. Please let them know they have options available to them. Also know that there are other funding resources that may be available by county or other philanthropic foundations.
Although soccer should be a lesser concern for all of us right now, please know that we are preparing for a better day ahead. We hope there will be an opportunity for all competitions to resume, but that timetable cannot be set yet, and certainly not by us at this time. If there is something our staff may be able to help you with, please reach out via email.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
To: All Members and Affiliates
From: Jeff Sommer, President
Chris Branscome, CEO
Date: March 15, 2020
RE: Coronavirus Update
We hope that you are all safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. As stated previously, we are in constant review of the coronavirus situation via County, State and Federal agencies. The following statement reflects developments over the past 48 hours:
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is suspending all sanctioned soccer activity through Sunday April 5. We will re-evaluate at that time.
Suspended sanctioned soccer extends to all leagues and clubs. This includes, but is not limited to:
· Organized kick arounds or fitness activities
· Games or scrimmages
· Referee and coaching courses
· State Cups
As per the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all schools are closed for a two week period. No school facility can be used for any sanctioned activity. Please comply with the directives of our health agencies and professionals. Do not put yourselves or the children at risk to play soccer. This is not a time to be concerned about soccer, this is a public health crisis.
The state association office is Montgomery County and in compliance with the Governor’s directive, will be closed for the next two weeks. Staff is working from home and will respond via email. The website and social media outlets will be updated regularly. However, we will not have any further answers to questions about the re-start of the season or other programs until after April 5th after we evaluate.
To paraphrase a recent statement by Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp Soccer always seems the most important of the least important things. Today, soccer and soccer matches really aren’t important at all.
Please continue with the recommended hygiene and social distancing directives. It’s our sincerest wish that we may return to our regular activities soon.
Strategies for Communities
MARCH 7, 2020
Given the current health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, CBAA/Buckingham United Soccer is providing you with an overview of the steps we are taking to keep our youth soccer community safe and informed. (We've provided a one page document that can be viewed/printed below)
CBAA Soccer remains committed to providing safe playing environments. We are regularly monitoring the actions, recommendations and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PA Dept of Health, Bucks County Health Department, , US Soccer, US Youth Soccer, EPYS and Central Bucks School District.
Follow Preventative Measures and Best Practices
Everyday precautionary actions can be taken to greatly reduce the risks and stop the spread of many illnesses. Buckingham United / CBAA Soccer strongly recommends the following preventative guidelines be followed by your players and families:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water (at least 30 seconds) especially after visiting bathroom facilities; before eating; and after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Please visit the CDC's Handwashing website.
- Use alcohol-based sanitizers (60% alcohol) in addition to frequent hand washing.
- Have sanitizing products readily available. Carry small bottles of alcohol-based sanitizers to use when hand-washing facilities are unavailable.
- Keep hydrated.
- Do not share water bottles or food.
- Do not share Goalie Gloves or clothing
- Avoid touching the mouth, eyes or nose with hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- No pre, during, or post-game handshakes with opposing team members or game officials.
- International team walkouts and hand-in-hand/arm-in-arm team huddles are not recommended.
- If anyone associated with a team (coach, player, family member) feels ill prior to a scheduled event, please have them stay home and not attend the event in order to reduce risk to others.
- If anyone associated with a team (coach, player, family member) becomes ill during an event and has symptoms such as coughing, fever, or general malaise, please contact a medical professional; to reduce exposure, consider self-isolation until evaluated by medical personnel; immediately exit the facility; do not come into personal contact with other participants.
- Coaches and team managers:
- Please be sure to have updated medical information and contact information for all minors' parents or guardians that may not be present.
- Please be sure to clean up team and training areas after every use(throw used water bottles, pre-wrap, etc)
Below are additional resources and links to learn more. Please review and share this information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
For more information about COVID-19, its symptoms, how it spreads and other frequently asked questions, visit the CDC website, here :https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Facemask The CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings
CDC Travel Health Notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
CDC Coronavirus FAQ Sheet: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
CDC Travel Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Central Bucks School District
DOWNLOAD A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE COUNTY OF BUCKS WITH ADDITIONAL DETAILS - 8:54 A.M.
Dear Central Bucks families,
Late last night, I was informed by Dr. David Damsker, Director of the Bucks County Health Department, and Dr. Sharon Watkins, State Epidemiologist of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, that members of the Central Bucks community were exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus that originated in another state. At this moment, we understand that these Central Bucks community members have had contact with Butler Elementary School, Titus Elementary School, Tamanend Middle School, Tohickon Middle School, and Central Bucks South High School. The Bucks County Health Department is currently evaluating these individuals to determine when they may return to school.
It is important to reiterate that there are no known or reported cases of coronavirus in Central Bucks School District, Bucks County or in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Out of an abundance of caution, I have decided to close the above schools Friday, March 6, 2020 to perform deep cleaning of all impacted facilities.
Throughout this evolving situation, I will remain in contact with both the Bucks County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Additional updates to the community will be shared as we learn more information.
You can find additional resources about the coronavirus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (CDC Website)[i] which is updated frequently with information about the coronavirus. The CDC also offers helpful FAQs[ii] about coronavirus. The PA Department of Health Coronavirus Website[iii] is a good source of information as well. If you have questions about your own health, please consult your medical professionals.
Coronavirus is transmitted like the common flu virus and can be easily eliminated with good cleaning and personal hygiene practices. Common symptoms for coronavirus include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. Some tips from the website to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as coronavirus, include:
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use a 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, electronic devices, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
- Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick to help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Director of Communications, Angela Linch, at 267.893.2073.
John J. Kopicki, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
In concern for the wellbeing and safety of our players, coaches, referees and their families, our office has been monitoring the Coronavirus situation.
We are working with US Soccer as well as our travel partner WorldStrides to gather additional information as it pertains to the safety of playing the game within our borders as well as traveling abroad as many will do in the ensuing weeks. The Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the US State Department, FIFA and other health and security organizations are being consulted.
At this time, all competitions and programs operated by our office will continue as scheduled. This includes international travel with the exception of countries that have been declared a level 3 or 4 advisory due to the virus. Should there be any change to our position, we will update all parties involved.
To reinforce health safety and best practices for illness prevention, please read the list below:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow the CDC's recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Please see the following additional resources and communications which may provide further answers to your questions.