Women's curling world championships still on in B.C. despite coronavirus

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's provincial health officer says the women's curling world championship in Prince George will go ahead as planned starting Saturday.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Tuesday that the province and the Northern Health authority have been working with the event's organizers to limit the risk of novel coronavirus transmission.

"I know Northern Health has been working very closely with the organizers and they feel that the risk ratio, the risk profile right now, allows it to continue to happen," she said.

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"I have confidence in the work that they're doing and the measures that they're going to be putting in place to protect people there."

However, she added that the province and the organizers have a very low threshold for people staying away and are urging anyone who feels sick at all to not attend.

Health Minister Adrian Dix reminded fans that the event will be televised so people who are unable to attend due to illness can still enjoy it from home.

"Every single event in the community, whether it's a church service or going to school or going to work, if you're sick, stay home," he said.

Rinks from Japan, South Korea, China and Italy — all countries grappling with outbreaks of COVID-19 — will participate in the annual tournament at the 6,000-seat CN Centre.

The province conducts a detailed risk assessment for all large events. That assessment includes examining the number of people coming, where the teams are coming from, where they've been before and the ability of the organizers to put protective measures in place.

B.C.'s decision came three days after the province of Nova Scotia, Hockey Canada, and the International Ice Hockey Federation cancelled the women's world hockey championship. They were to take place March 31 to April 10 in Nova Scotia.

On Tuesday, the International Skating Union sent out strict requirements for attending next week's world figure skating championships in Montreal amid the threat of the novel coronavirus.

Media, officials, skaters and coaches scheduled to attend the event received a lengthy Coronavirus Information Package from the world governing body for skating. Among requirements for entry, individuals must undergo a temperature check and receive a temperature reading of less than 38 C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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