To: All members and affiliates
From: Rusty Wightman, President
CC: Board of directors and staff
RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATE: March 13, 2020 | 10:45 PM
Effective immediately, New Hampshire Soccer Association is suspending all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide through April 12, 2020 due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. For our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues) this includes, but is not limited to: all games, practices, clinics, training, tournaments, and in-person meetings.
Trusting that players, coaches, referees and spectators would never knowingly compromise themselves or others, the fact is that our sport and its related activities provide an opportunity for the virus to spread which we feel is our duty to help avoid (excerpt from the CDC below):
“…COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets (sneeze, cough, or sweat) when in close contact (within 6 feet) OR by touching a surface with such droplets and then touching one’s own mouth, nose or eyes…”
As a result, both US Soccer and US Youth Soccer have made a similar decision regarding soccer activities under their purview. They asked the state associations to assess the risks and benefits of postponement, suspension and/or cancellation of upcoming events and New Hampshire Soccer – along with many other state associations – has taken this guidance, as well as information from public health and medical professionals at the federal, state and local levels with the highest level of concern. Our decision to suspend soccer-related activities and promote social distancing was not made lightly. But, in the interest of making the health and safety of the entire soccer community, in addition to all others statewide, paramount, we know this is the right step to take.
New Hampshire Soccer will evaluate conditions on a continuing basis to determine when it is appropriate to reinstate our affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities. Further communications will be provided via email and on our website.
US Soccer has suspended all Coaching Education Courses and Referee Courses until after April 30th. We are currently trying to work on a solution to offer a portion of these courses on line. Look for communications from our Director of Coaching and State Referee Administrator.
Additionally, here are a number of different resources and communications from the CDC and other organizations regarding the Coronavirus:
- NH Department of Health and Human Services
- CDC – Coronavirus Overview
- CDC – Frequently Asked Questions
- World Health Organization – Advice for Coronavirus
- U.S. Department of State – Country Specific Travel Information
- United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee – Coronavirus Update
We cannot emphasize enough that New Hampshire Soccer’s primary commitment at all times is the health and safety of all members, players, coaches, referees, parents, spectators and volunteers.
Proper Health Habits:
In the meantime, while we all help protect ourselves is it important 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 prior to proper washing or disinfecting.
- 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 face mask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
- CDC recommended face masks 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.
Thank you for your understanding.
-New Hampshire Soccer Association