March 12th, 2020

Dear Members

Following our note to you yesterday and the subsequent escalation of events relating to Covid-19; we have empanelled a sub-team to deal with this issue. The team consists of some board members and is strengthened by volunteers from the membership with subject matter expertise.  We had our first meeting last night.  

Primarily, it is our firm intention to anticipate and circumvent any possibility of infection for our members.  We are, of course, monitoring developments with the HSE and we are also in close contact with the sporting bodies with whom we are affiliated.  However, where the overarching guidance from those bodies is unclear or absent entirely, we have decided to take a firm line and err on the side of safety and caution in order to protect our members. It’s worth noting that our membership demographics skew a little older than many other sporting clubs and hence more of our members are in the at risk category. We appreciate the risk of infection is low but the impact is high. 

Recently, the Club commissioned a professional company to undertake a deep clean of the entire premises and this has just been completed.  We are asking members to adhere to the HSE advice on handwashing as a cornerstone of our policy.  Please wash your hands before you commence playing and after you finish. Although, a little mundane, this is the very best thing you can do to stop the spread of infection.

Our sub team will be meeting every week to review progress but for the moment the following new guidelines will come into force with immediate effect.

General Guidelines
The Bar will remain closed for the duration of the month of March. We will be cancelling all functions and activities within the clubhouse which bring people into close proximity with each other and which require people using a common set of playing instruments/implements.  Hence, we will be cancelling bridge, darts, pilates and all other social or recreational activities currently planned for our function room. This ban will remain in force until the end of March at which point a further decision will be made.

We will be recommending that you wear gloves when playing either tennis or bowls.  While this might sound drastic; contamination is possible from bowling or tennis balls or other inanimate objects and surfaces.  The risk is thought to be less serious than respiratory contraction but it remains unknown. We will provide surgical gloves in both tennis and bowling pavilion.  We will further provide a safe receptacle for you to dispose of the gloves once you’re finished playing.

If feeling unwell – do not come to the club!

If there is a concern about the symptoms of COVID-19, you can call the HSE (1850 24 1850) directly or consult with your doctor. Please do this by phone in advance and do not attend a clinic with this enquiry. There are strict algorithms public health doctors will follow to decide whether you warrant a test. At this point in time only public health doctors can make this decision to have a  test performed. In some cases, where illness is mild, they may request precaution is taken to self isolate, and not test.

 

Bowling Guidelines The indoor bowling will cease with immediate effect until further notice
Plans to open the bowling green towards the end of this month shall proceed but we will be recommending bowlers to wear gloves when playing.

We will request that the practice of taking tea and refreshments after games is temporarily discontinued.

 

Tennis Guidelines
We are recommending tennis players wear a glove on the hand not holding the racquet as the ball may possibly carry infection. These gloves will be provided in the pavillion.

Good hygiene practice should be encouraged at all times. Usual playing rituals such as group hugs, high 5’s handshaking, should be discontinued for a period of time.

We will request that the practice of taking tea and refreshments after games is temporarily discontinued. Please wash hands before and after playing.

For accessing the club, you may wish to bring a pencil with you. You can use the pencil to punch the numbers on the pin pad, thus saving you having to physically touch it.

I am sorry to be the bearer of such harsh news but we believe the measures we’re suggesting are in the best interests of members for whom we have a duty of care.  We hope you can continue to enjoy your sport and we believe that if we all model the right behaviour (see below) and show leadership, then we have the best chance of beating the virus! Every responsible healthcare NGO is recommending this type of community action.

If you have any further suggestions, please drop me a note.

Warm Regards, Peter Robbins -on behalf of  Health & Safety Team BBTC

Additional Guidance:

What practical steps can I take to ensure the risk of infection remains low

The most important action we can all take is to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

We encourage you all to read the HSE’s Coronavirus information page (https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/ ), including the following do’s and don’ts of hand washing

Do’s

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Don’ts

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Hand Washing The HSE has also issued the following essential advice on when precisely to wash your hands:

  • After coughing or sneezing
  • After toilet use
  • Before eating
  • Before and after preparing food
  • If you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
  • If your hands are dirty
  • If you have handled animals or animal waste