Pickleball community responds to recent COVID-19 outbreak

Pickleball community responds to recent COVID-19 outbreak
Pickleball community responds to recent COVID-19 outbreak

One player has said he will skip the game until spring, while one of the sites hosting the games is hoping players will return after the period of self-isolation.

THUNDER BAY – A recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the city linked to pickleball has some members of the sports community who have said they will stay away from the game for now, while one of the field locations is hoping see more members return in the coming weeks.“It was a huge disappointment,” said Toby Graveson, president of the Thunder Bay Pickleball Association.

“But what can we really do. We need to move forward and hopefully find better ways to deal with this in the future. Personally, I will probably not be playing the game again until spring or when a vaccine is released.

According to the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, several of the recent reported cases of COVID-19 are linked to pickleball games and up to 200 people could have been exposed between November 3 and November 13.

The health unit has listed four locations for possible exhibit, including the Polish Fighters Division No. 1, Moose Hall, North McIntyre Recreation Center and West Thunder Community Center.

“I know the only place I played, there were cross members playing at one of the other places,” Graveson said. “It could have contributed to the spread. If we had stayed in our own small groups we could have been better off, but that’s only my opinion.

In his own organization, Graveson said three of the seven members tested positive for COVID-19, while the rest were feeling well.

Graveson added that the players are following all the rules as closely as possible, while admitting that everyone, including himself, could have done better.

“We all have a big problem now with the game. I tried to be as aware of the rules as possible, but sometimes I was just as lax,” he says.

While Graveson won’t be making his way to court anytime soon, Moose Hall administrator Patrick Cross wants to make sure the public knows the space is perfectly safe and is hoping people will return.

“What worries me about the Moose is that yes, we had a problem with the infected people in the building, but they have since isolated themselves,” he says. “We followed protocols with the district health office to clean up our building. I just want the public to realize that there is no reason not to come to this building.

Several community organizations use the Moose Hall, including the Good Food Box. Cross said a woman refused to collect her food due to fear of the building outbreak.

“It is unfortunate that there is a lot of misunderstanding that it might be dangerous to come into the room,” he said. “I just wish the public would know it wasn’t a problem. They can come and get what they are looking for here. ”

According to Cross, staff sanitize tables, chairs and regularly touched areas after use on a regular basis, masks are needed throughout the building, and hand sanitizing stations are located throughout.

“We are very strict when they come in, keeping track of who they are and when they come and they have to wear their mask when they are not on the pitch,” he said. “The rules were definitely being followed. Our coordinator here is in the room all day they are here, making sure they follow all protocols.

Cross said he hopes anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 while playing pickleball will return to the Moose to play after the required period of self-isolation.

But Graveson believes the recent outbreak could push more people out of court than him at the moment, but he’s confident things will get back to normal in the future.

“I think it will have a negative impact from now on, but in the future I think the game will come back,” he said. “It’s a very popular game. Not just among the elderly.

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