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BFNC Statement re Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The BFNC as a member of the SFNL is bound by the directives and advice of the League. The League is working closely with the AFL, AFL Victoria, Netball Victoria and takes its advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Australian Department of Health and Vic Sport. At this point in time, the League has stated that the 2020 season will continue as planned. They have also stated that they will continue to monitor the situation with the relevant authorities and will provide clubs with regular updates as required Please be assured that the BFNC takes very seriously it's responsibility to look after the welfare of its players, officials and volunteers. To this end a number of protocols to assist in the provision of a safe environment whilst engaged in club activities such as training or playing in matches have been put in place. These include common sense hygiene practices that people should already adopt on a daily basis. Our training and coaching staff have been proactive in both putting in place and communicating them to our players and officials. The club executive will continue to work closely with League officials and our various stakeholders to manage this trying situation that we share with other sporting communities. Please regularly utilize our electronic and social media platforms for updated information. If any member has any has personal concerns or questions re the current situation, please don't hesitate to contact a member of the Club Executive, the relevant coaching staff or Head Trainer. Garry Matlock General Manager BFNC On behalf of the President and BFNC Executive

Please read below for a relevant Industry Practice Note from the AFL


AFL Industry Covid-19 Practice Note

Version 1 – 11 March 2020

1. Background

The health and safety of our staff, players and fans is paramount, therefore we are closely monitoring

the situation with respect to Covid-19. It is important that any information you receive with respect to

Covid-19 or any other infectious illness comes from a reputable source which is why we are regularly

consulting with Australian Government, the World Health Organisation and the AFL’s Chief Medical


Further, the health and safety of players, male and female, underpin our ability to conduct matches

and provide the content that is so loved by our many members, fans and supporters. As a result, we as

an industry must do all we can to protect our players from contracting Covid-19 by mitigating any

potential impact on being able to play matches.

Given Covid-19 remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly, the AFL makes the following

recommendations to Clubs to mitigate the significant consequences that may arise if our playing group

becomes infected.

2. Covid-19

Current understanding is that Covid‐19 is spread from person‐to‐person when people are in close

contact or when an infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing the virus into the air as droplets.

These droplets can then enter another person’s mouth or nose or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Infection may also be spread by touching a surface contaminated with Covid‐19 then touching your

mouth, nose or eyes.

Symptoms of Covid‐19 infection typically begin 2‐14 days after exposure and include fever, fatigue,

muscle aches and cough. More severe symptoms include diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and

pneumonia. Older people and those with chronic illness are at increased risk.

If you have not been in an area where Covid‐19 is spreading or been in close contact with someone

who has and is now infected, your chances of getting Covid‐19 are currently low. However, it’s

understandable that people may feel anxious about the situation.

3. Hygiene at the forefront

There is currently no vaccine to prevent Covid‐19 infection. The precautions outlined below are

essential to limit your exposure and prevent the spread of germs:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitiser

• Wash or sanitise your hands before eating

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick

• Stay home and seek medical treatment when you are sick

• Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze

Clubs must do all they can to reinforce the above precautions, including making available appropriate

bathroom and kitchen facilities to staff and providing alcohol‐based hand sanitiser and tissues.

4. General Practices – Staff

In order mitigate risk to our playing group, and staff in general, it is strongly advised that the following

be implemented:

• procedure be put in place that ensures anyone in your business that has travelled

internationally or has close contact with a person that has travelled internationally, contacts

your Human Resources Department prior to returning to work to discuss their return to work


• All non-essential international travel be reconsidered and that if travel is not avoidable, that

the staff member monitors the DFAT and Smartraveller websites and follows the procedure

above upon return.

• All non-essential domestic travel be reconsidered, with staff to make use of technology for

meetings rather than attending in person.

• Reconsider the need for physical meetings, internally and with external people, making use of

technology where possible

• Limit the interaction between the administration and playing group to essential staff only

• Where possible, implement process where officials perform a dual role in the football

department to reduce staff numbers and where time permits

• Explore succession planning so that a number of essential officials are trained to do two or

three other roles in the event you have staff contract Covid-19

• Ensure player facilities are restricted to essential staff and players only

• Any staff member displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 must not attend work until cleared by

your Club Medical Officer or a General Practitioner (GP)

• Ensure staff have the ability to work remotely if required

• Ensure any players and staff that have family members, housemates or friends that may have

come into contact with at risk people or people displaying symptoms, in their school,

workplace or daily activities not attend work until cleared by a Club Medical Officer or a

General Practitioner (GP)

5. General Practices – Players

Over and above the practices to be implemented by the wider staff, it is strongly advised that the

following be implemented with respect to the football department and players, noting that players are

generally immunosuppressed given their training load:

• Continually reinforce good hygiene practices

• Ensure all player facilities are maintained and cleaned to a high standard with appropriate

cleaning agents – consider more regular cleaning of facilities

• Restrict access to player facilities, at both club training bases and at matches

o prevent access to administrative staff, board members, supporters, sponsors, media

and families

o only allow access to players, medical staff, coaches and essential football department


• Engage the use of technology to maintain interaction between playing group and supporters

• Advise any player or staff member who attends university utilise online lectures where


• Encourage any person invited to events to not attend if they are showing any symptoms

6. Protocol for Player with suspected Covid-19

Should you have a player, or member of your football department, that displays the symptoms of

Covid-19, the following should be implemented as a minimum:

• Immediately isolate that person from the playing group

• Advise your Club Medical Officer or General Practitioner (GP) if they are not already aware

• Your Club Medical Officer or General Practitioner (GP) should arrange for testing for Covid-19

• Require that the player or person remain isolated until return to work is approved by your

Club Medical Officer or a General Practitioner (GP)

• Arrange for regular monitoring of the remaining player group and football department for any

signs and symptoms, and if displayed, isolate the relevant person(s) immediately

• Consider training and team meetings in smaller groups where possible to limit wider exposure

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