USA Rugby Release March 5, 2020
Medical Committee encourages athletes and administrators to continue with scheduled competition in all regions of the United States.
As concerns grow around the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, it is important that we share information around courses USA Rugby is taking to warrant the safety and wellbeing of its members. USA Rugby fully understands and appreciates the severity of COVID-19 and the potential risk involved. The USA Rugby Medical Committee and Leadership are in close contact with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), USOPC and World Rugby who are also closely monitoring the situation, with a focus on athlete and spectator welfare. We trust the guidance given by those entities in this circumstance.
As it pertains to sanctioned competition within USA Rugby, the Medical Committee encourages athletes and administrators to continue with scheduled competition in all regions of the United States. If you are experiencing respiratory illness or fever however, we urge you to stay home and not compete in matches or team activities. If you are experiencing such symptoms, the CDC suggests calling your doctor if you;
- Develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or
- I have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, all members are highly encouraged to follow instructions provided by the CDC on how to prevent the spread of any and all acute respiratory infections. That information can be found here.
Some precautionary suggestions for athletes and administrators;
- Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
- People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash their hands).
- Preferably avoid handshakes when greeting players and opponents;
- Use individual water bottles; do not share them;
- Towels, uniforms and training bibs should not be shared, if possible. Frequent laundry of these items is suggested;
- Training equipment should be cleaned following the session.
If you are intending to travel internationally with a rugby tour, please coordinate with your host destination and work with them on the feasibility and risk prior to departing. We also advise you to check with the CDC, the World Health Organization and State Department on current travel advisories.
Given the evolving elements of this matter, USA Rugby will continue to be in constant contact with the CDC, USOPC and World Rugby in terms of new information and guidance. Updates and necessary information will be communicated directly to the membership via email, the USA Rugby website newsfeed, and social media channels.