Notre Dame to 'change practice' after students fail to physically distance at SJHL game
REGINA -- Notre Dame College is adjusting it’s practice of COVID-19 public health guidelines after a social media video of a Monday night SJHL game appeared to show students failing to remain physically distant.
The game in question took place in Wilcox as the Hounds hosted the Yorkton Terriers, and also drew attention after a racial slur was allegedly hurled at a member of the Yorkton team.
The SJHL currently allows a maximum of 150 fans to attend games, with the expectation that they’re able to remain physically distant inside the rink.
The president of Notre Dame said all students at Monday evening’s game were wearing masks. He also said the rink remained under the limit of 150 fans.
“Because we live in a congregate setting, you could say that the sitting close together with their masks on in the arena was just like being in the dorm setting where technically you don’t have to physical space,” Rob Palmarin, president of Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, said.
He said he recognizes the questions that would come from the social media video, and the concerns some may have.
“We’re addressing that immediately and are going to change that practice,” Palmarin said. “Given the increase in numbers, we could improve there. So that’s happening immediately.”
He said he believes the school was following mitigation strategies properly, but that the school will still adjust how it’s addressing physical distancing.
Palmarin said the team with stick to the limit of 150, but they will be spaced out to better accommodate what the public health order requires for physical distancing.
“Maybe I personally was getting complacent," Palmarin said. “We were following what is expected for congregate living.”
The leagues president said that the SJHL has guidelines that he expects to be adhered to, but that the unique living situation at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame is also a factor.
“They’re in that communal living type of situation, so all those students are in classrooms together, in dorm together, eating together, so I think they would be a little more relaxed in the students minds because that’s just another function of what they’ve done all day long, right or wrong,” Bill Chow, SJHL president said.
“Public health received submissions from the SJHL on their plans for return safe to play. These plans must be followed to ensure the safety of players, coaches and spectators. We would expect the league and teams to ensure compliance,” The Ministry of Health said in response.
Operators of arenas must comply with guidelines set out in the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
Click here to read more about Notre Dame’s boarding plan for its congregate living setting.