USA Fencing Statement for Clubs, Affiliate Clubs and Coaches Regarding COVID-19 – UPDATED 7PM 3/17/2020
Dear USA Fencing Club Owners,
We understand that right now is a challenging time for everyone in the nation and around the world as we attempt to navigate the current circumstances created by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Over the past few days, many of you have chosen to suspend classes at your clubs and, although we know these decisions were heart-wrenching, the fencing community as well as the local, national and international communities at large, becomes a safer place the more precautions we take to protect each other from this disease.
In order to protect the health and safety of all of our members – including athletes, coaches, staff and their families – clubs should suspend practices, lessons and gathering for the next three weeks. This applies to any club activity, including group sessions as well as individual lessons. In consultation with our insurance carrier, we will not be providing insurance coverage for Member Clubs beginning March 18 and continuing through at least April 6. Coaches at Affiliate Clubs will not have liability insurance coverage for the same period of times. As you all know, this situation is continually evolving and we will keep you updated with any changes in the coming weeks.
This was not a decision anyone came to lightly. The guidance from the Centers for Disease Control has been that social distancing is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease and that asymptomatic individuals can be carriers. We know many clubs have put social distancing practices into place in order to keep access to the sport open for your members during these challenging times; however, with schools, universities and workplaces suspending classes and creating virtual working environments to protect everyone, we are asking you to follow suit.
We will revisit this timeframe within the coming weeks; however, please note that the Centers for Disease Control is calling for no mass gatherings of 50 or more individuals for eight weeks which means that, when fencing resumes, classes and events are to be restricted in size until May 10.
We know that our nation’s fencing clubs are the heart of the sport, but also that we must do what is necessary to protect everyone within our fencing family.
UPDATE FROM 7:00PM: As a point of clarification regarding the email sent out this morning, in order to protect the health and safety of all of our members, and in consultation with our insurance carrier, Member Clubs and coaches should suspend practices, lessons and gatherings at this time. Accordingly, beginning March 18 and continuing through at least April 6, USA Fencing will not be sanctioning such activities, and insurance coverage will therefore be unavailable for those activities during that time.
If you have any questions, please contact me at B.Bodor@usafencing.org.
Director of Member Services