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Covid-19

Please note that WP Bowls provides the information on this page as a resource for our members and the wider community.

We have summarised data from multiple sources and this should not be taken as medical or legal advice!

If you are unsure about anything, visit the COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal.

Level 1 Restrictions – as Amended

Any format of bowls is allowed, on both a Social and Competitive level, subject to the other adjusted Level 1 restrictions.

Social and competitive games of any format are allowed.

The regulations allow bars to be open, subject to a number of conditions. Clubs will have to confirm that they are adhering to the regulations in terms of their liquor license and the other government regulations around their venue capacity before allowing non-members into their Club houses.

Social bowls is allowed, subject to the other provisions of social distancing, visitor registration, social distancing, etc.

Yes, provided all safety protocols are adhered to, i.e. social distancing, sanitizing, recording of members on arrival. Capacity indoors are restricted to only 100 persons at any given time. If your club is a small venue, then only 50% of your capacity is allowed and still being able to adhere to social distancing regulation.  Clubs are allowed 250 people to be accommodated outdoors. These numbers are to include any staff on the premises.

Yes, bowlers are required to pre-book rinks to play bowls. This can be an online or telephone system and is essential.

Before playing

  • Make a booking in advance
  • Bring your own sanitiser
  • Wear a mask
  • Sign in and have your temperature taken on arrival at the Club

During the game

  • Allow previous bowlers to leave the green first
  • Avoid close contact with anyone - practise social distancing
  • Sanitise bowls and jacks before each end
  • Use your foot to centre the jack
  • Use spray chalk for touchers
  • Do not touch anyone else's bowls
  • Avoid any human contact
  • Do not share score cards
  • Do not use bowls scoops
  • Do not share any equipment
  • Do not share any food or beverages

After the game

  • Wash and disinfect your hands
  • Place mats and jacks in sanitisation bins
  • Leave the Club immediately

The current regulations say that everyone has to wear a mask at all times, unless involved in "vigorous" exercise.

The term "vigorous" is not defined yet so we urge all bowlers to keep their masks on at all times, including while bowling.

A full quota of 48 people are allowed on a Green that is with fours format now being allowed.

If your Club has 2 Greens, you are allowed full quota of 96 players at any given time on your greens.

Social distancing and adhering to all sanitizing protocols to be adhered to.

Please send additional questions via your Club Secretary to the WP Bowls office, or use the ideas@wpbowls.co.za address for more informal feedback or suggestions.

Covid-19 Infections

If someone who was at your Club within the last week has tested positive for Covid-19, you should do the following:

  • Notify anyone else who was at the Club either on the day or during the subsequent three days.
  • Notify WP Bowls.
  • Close your Club until it has been deep cleaned.

It does depend on the type of contact that occurred.

High Risk Exposure
This is defined as close contact within 1 metre of a COVID-19 confirmed case for more than 15 minutes without PPE (i.e. no face cover/ eye cover).
In such case, the person must self-quarantine for 14 days and perform daily symptom self-checks.

Low Risk Exposure
This is defined as being more than 1 metre away from a COVID-19 confirmed case for less than 15 minutes OR within 1 metre but wearing PPE (face cover/ eye cover).
In such case, the member does not need to self quarantine but must wear a cloth mask at all times and comply with standard precautions. Symptoms must be monitored for 14 days from first contact.

The two steps involved in regular Cleaning and Disinfecting.

Cleaning
Cleaning is the use of water, soap and clothes to clean all surfaces and other areas in the Club. This will reduce the pathogen load and remove organic matter & dirt.
Effectively this means filling buckets with soap and hot water and thoroughly washing every surface.

Disinfecting
Disinfection is the use of a disinfectant to kill pathogens.
After the cleaning has been completed, use fresh, clean cloths to wipe every surface with an approved disinfectant.

In South Africa, this is a disinfectant approved by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS). You can download the complete list on their website.

If an approved disinfectant is not available the following options are available:

  • Use 70-90% ethanol (or other types of alcohol e.g. isopropyl alcohol, activities are similar)
  • Use chlorine solution (sodium/calcium hypochlorite aka bleach/jik)
    • 0.1% (1000 ppm) for general environmental disinfection
    • 0.5% (5000 ppm) for blood and bodily fluid spills
  • Hydrogen peroxide at ≥ 0.5%
  • Contact time for above disinfectants: 1 minute
  • Contact time: Time for disinfectant to be in contact with surface in order to kill pathogen
  • Type of disinfectant will be determined by type of surface to be cleaned (contact manufacture if unsure)

Most disinfectants are approved based on their application to surfaces by wiping and not based on their application onto individuals by spraying.

The most effective method is to spray surfaces liberally and then wipe with an appropriate, hygienic cloth.

In the event of a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case, the Club should be deep cleaned. The following steps can be completed by your and your staff or by an outside company hired specifically for the purpose.

  • Close off the club house and other affected buildings.
  • Increase air circulation (open doors/windows/air-con with outside air intake).
    – If no windows available, wait for as long as possible before cleaning.
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning. If 24 hours not feasible, wait as long as possible.
    – This is to minimize exposure to possible viable SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces and within suspended air droplets from coughing/sneezing/talking.
  • Wear Personal protective equipment (PPE) while cleaning and disinfecting: mask, disposable or utility gloves, dedicated overall  or plastic aprons and closed shoes.
  • Clean and disinfect all communal areas and equipment (focus on highly-touched surfaces).
  • Wipe twice with 0.05% (500 ppm) chlorine solution (or once with 0.1%).
  • Flood bodily fluid spillage with 0.5% (5000 ppm) chlorine solution, cover with absorbent material, leave for 30 min before cleaning.
  • Cleaning equipment used (e.g. buckets) must be separated from regular cleaning equipment.

The Club should remain closed until the disinfectant vapours have disappeared and all surfaces air-dried.

Thereafter, continue routine, everyday cleaning and disinfection practices.

The Department of Health in South Africa does not endorse or require ‘deep cleaning’ that involves fumigation,
demisting or fogging.

These methods are not recommended.

There is no requirement by the Department of Health require for any certificate of any kind with regard to the deep cleaning of your Club or workplace.

The person or organisation that conducted your test should have advised you on the steps to take, and notified the health department.

You should notify any bowling club that you have been to within the previous 7 days.

Basic Hygiene Protocols

As per the submission to the government the following details must be available:

  • Full names
  • Phone contact number
  • Email address (if you have one)
  • Residential address
  • Alternate contact person
  • Confirmation that you do not display symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus
  • Name of Club
  • Date

If the person visiting the club is an affiliated bowler, recording their Name and BSA number will be sufficient as all the other information is available on the BSA database.

 

Under current regulations, spectators are specifically prohibited from attending any sporting event.

According to government guidelines only sanitising agents that contain a minimum of Seventy percent (70%) alcohol are acceptable and must meet the standard prescribed by the Department of Health?

A maximum of 48 people are allowed on a Green with format of fours being allowed.

If your Club has 2 Greens, you are restricted to 96 players at any given time on the greens.

For an indoor venue, a maximum of 100 people are allowed and still adhering to social distancing regulations.  For a small venue, a maximum of 50% of your clubs capacity will apply.

For an outdoor venue, it is a maximum of 250, as long as they are able to adhere to social distancing regulations

It is the responsibility of each club to ensure that all contact points are regularly sanitised.

It has been determined that under controlled conditions the virus survived up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The virus however cannot thrive on different surfaces. Viruses in general cannot multiply outside of their host.

Each club has been issued with the protocols with regard to handling and sanitising these items and part of this will require active participation by persons using the facilities. The jack must be regularly sanitised. Likewise mats are to be cleaned with a soft wipe before the start of each end and at the end of the session all the mats must be properly sanitised.  Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the protocols.

Diluted household bleach solutions that are available at supermarkets are suitable for use as sterilisation agent.  As most of these are primarily chlorine based they should only be used if appropriate for the surface.

Take note of the following when using bleach:

  • Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
  • To make a bleach solution use as per instructions but generally 150ml of concentration should be diluted with 1000ml of water. Please note these are guidelines and each batch prepared should be done in terms of the guidelines given by the manufacturer.
  • Make dilute bleach solution as needed and use it within 24 hours, as its disinfecting ability fades with time.
  • Non-porous items like jacks can be immersed in bleach for 30 seconds.
  • Roughly one minute exposure time is needed to sterilise and kill the virus. It is also recommended that cold or tepid water is used to mix the solution as chlorine can lose its effectiveness if exposed to high temperatures.

Some examples of bleach are:

  • Jik
  • Clean day and
  • Clorox

Alcohol in many forms, including rubbing alcohol and commercially alcohol based sanitisers can be effective for killing many pathogens.

Hydrogen peroxide is typically sold in concentrations of about 3%. It can be used as is, or diluted to 0.5% concentration for effective use against coronaviruses on surfaces. It should be left on surfaces for one minute before wiping.

It must be understood that there is a basic difference between chlorine and bleach in that chlorine is a natural element, while bleach is a solution of many elements normally including chlorine.

Sterilisation agents that are chlorine based should not be used on the greens. When sanitizing mats, jacks etc. this must be done well away from the playing surface.

Players who in the process of sanitizing equipment expose their hands to the liquid should clean their hands with water before returning to the playing surface.

Good practice would be to provide a bucket or similar object for sterilisation purposes together with a bucket containing water so that players can rinse their hands after using the sterilisation agent.

An alternative would be to place a plastic sheet on the area not being used on the green.

Whatever process you implement please be careful that the greens are not affected by spill.

Maximising Personal Protection

On 7 January 2020, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed as the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The virus is characterised by a fatty layer on the outside and the use of soap and household disinfectants has the ability to break down this fatty layer.

Current evidence indicates that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through close contact with respiratory droplets which occur as a consequence of coughing or sneezing. Further transmission can take place as a consequence of droplets landing on objects and surfaces and then through contact with such objects or surfaces.

With regard to surfaces there is apparently no empirical proof that anyone has contacted the virus from packaging but this possibility cannot be overlooked. Surfaces and objects that are more frequently handled pose, potentially, a greater risk. Similarly it is believed that food does not transmit the virus because the virus primarily affects the respiratory organs. In a recently published study of the ability of the virus to survive on different types of packaging it was established that under controlled conditions the virus survived up to four hours on copper, up to twenty-four hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The study also found that if the humidity in the air is less than forty percent the virus will not survive as long. What is important to understand is that the virus cannot expand outside of itself on different surfaces so over time and of course assuming no further infection by outside agencies whatever the number of viruses present on any surface will either decrease or remain the same.

Currently there is no substantive proof as to how the virus fares under different climatic conditions. Based on studies done on similar virus’s refrigeration and freezing could prolong their active cycle. Additionally the virus apparently does not do well under high temperatures of roughly 30 degrees Celsius and above. This does not mean one can relax when you are exposed to higher temperatures vigilance and protective behaviour should always be practiced.

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and as accepted by the government the minimum acceptable distance between two persons is six feet which has been accepted as two meters. This is best practically demonstrated by each person extending their arms horizontally to shoulder height so that the ends of their hands barely touch each other.

The minimum requirement of any face mask is that it must cover both the mouth and nose.

As a minimum the CDC suggests using two layers of tightly woven 100 percent cotton fabric such as quilter’s material or bedsheets with a high thread count folded in multiple layers.

Thicker, high-grade cotton masks are usually better at filtering small particles. However, stay away from materials that are too thick.

Full face plastic shields are also considered as acceptable for protection.

Some hints on the use of masks:

  • Before putting on a mask, clean your hands well with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
  • Cover the mouth and nose with your mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it and, if you do, wash your hands.
  • Replace the mask when it is damp.
  • To remove your mask, take it off using the elastic tags, without touching the front and discard immediately into a closed bin or, if the mask is reusable, directly into the washing machine

Face masks are not a guarantee that you won’t come into contact with COVID-19 droplets but it does certainly help minimise the risk. This is even more applicable in an environment where everyone is wearing a face mask.

Research show that gloves offer a “false sense of security”. Gloves are simply an extension of your hand and you will touch surfaces and then touch other objects in the same way as you would with your bare hand and hence should you be touching an infected surface the ability to transfer this is the same whether you use your bare hands or a gloved hand.

As discussed above the main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing or sneezing.

The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, which is available on the websites and social media of the national Department of Health (www.health.gov.za), National Institute for Communicable Diseases. BSA website also has a dedicated link allowing you to access all this information.

Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean your hands with an alcohol based hand sanitiser. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain social distance of at least one meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing ideally walk away and avoid such contact. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain a virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. Bear in mind that people that who do not necessarily display symptoms associated with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic and quite capable of transmitting the virus.
  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Droplets spread viruses. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health facility. The national and provincial Departments of Health will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Most common symptoms

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness

 

Less common symptoms

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

 

Serious symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement

Please seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.

On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.

The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.

An adult is typically considered feverish if their measured temperature is above 37.8°C.

Screening is a way to do a quick assessment if you may exhibit symptoms that could indicate whether you have COVID-19 or not. The designated person will scan your forehead to take your temperature.

When booking you may be asked the following questions which you must answer honestly

  • Have travelled to a high risk country in the last 14 days?
  • Have had contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing?

Comorbidity and comorbid conditions refer to one or more diseases, or conditions, that occur along with another condition in the same person at the same time. Examples of this are:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes including type 1 or type 2
  • Cardiovascular disease including hypertension.
  • Severe obesity
  • Chronic lung disease

Require Assistance?

Should any WP Club need any clarity on the regulations, etc. please don’t hesitate to contact us.