COVID-19: How Edmonton’s voluntary cohort guidelines could affect multi-sport families

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How Edmonton’s voluntary cohort guidelines could affect multi-sport families
WATCH ABOVE: What does the voluntary guidelines for Edmonton announced by Dr. Deena Hinshaw mean for multi-sport families? How will this impact the lesser secondary sports? Chris Chacon talks a look at the cohort guidelines. – Oct 9, 2020

Alberta’s top doctor has advised people to limit cohorts in the Edmonton zone, but the voluntary request is causing confusion and concern for some people who are involved in minor sports.

“It’s quite confusing,” parent Sarah Munroe said. “Everything’s changed twice over having them both registered in two sports and them having to scale back and choose one is quite hard.”

As Edmonton’s COVID-19 numbers surge, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Thursday that the province is now suggesting Edmontonians limit indoor private social gatherings to 15 people, wear masks in all indoor work settings (except when a person is alone in a workspace such as a cubicle or an office, or if there is a barrier in place) and limit their cohorts to three: a household cohort, a school cohort and no more than one social, sport or other group cohort.

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Munroe’s two boys are actively involved in sports and other physical activities that involve more than one cohort, but with the new recommendation they are being told to only play one per season.

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Read more: Voluntary public health measures coming for Edmonton zone amid rise in COVID-19 cases: Alberta health minister

“We’re lucky that our kids are at an age where we can let them choose what they prefer, so preference is always taken in our house, but I think it’s got to be hard for other families,” Munroe said.

It’s a choice many families are now facing. While safety is top of mind, the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association says it believes the voluntary restrictions are a big step back.

“Hopefully we can have an entire indoor season,” said Mario Charpentier with the EMSA.

“From now to December, things can get better but (also) can get worse, and then we’d just have to shut down or whatever the provincial health departments decides.”

The association normally has roughly 12,000 players, but so far this year they are at just half that and fear those numbers may drop even more.

“We didn’t get any requests for refunds yet, but it may happen,” Charpentier said. “It could be because some kids play two or three sports, and maybe their main sport is not soccer or whatever other sport — they will pick one.”

The association says it will wait and see, but is prepared for what may come.

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Meanwhile, as the cohort limit is only voluntary, Munroe said she hopes Albertans will follow the recommendations to keep everyone safe.

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