COVID-19, the corona virus, and the Vegro The Hague European Championships Disability Darts
Of course, the corona virus also keeps us very busy, not least because the tournament could not take place on the originally planned date in May. Fortunately, we have found new dates and the tournament is now on the calendar from 16 to 18 October 2020. But we are taking special measures, for the safety of the players, crew and officials, our guests and visiting fans. To this end, we are in contact and consultation with the Haaglanden Safety Region, the municipality of The Hague, GGD Haaglanden, GHOR Haaglanden, the RIVM and the Dutch Darts Association NDB, about what is possible and what is not. There may be some changes in government policy between then and now, but we abide by all the rules and more so.
Anyone present must complete a questionnaire in advance and return it to us. These questions only serve to assess whether there is a risk, whether someone is or may be infected with COVID-19. After evaluation, these lists will be destroyed.
In addition, we are required by law to request and retain the name and email address or telephone number of each attendee. This storage will last for a maximum of four weeks after the Vegro The Hague European Championships Disability Darts, after which they will also be destroyed. Should it turn out that someone with an infection was present, the Municipal Health Service (GGD) can carry out a so-called source and contact investigation (BCO) and coordinate the information of the visitors, in consultation with the organisation.
Failure to provide this information may result in refusal of admission to the event.
On arrival, everyone is asked whether all the answers to that questionnaire are still correct, whether things have changed and if so, exactly what. In addition, everyone is asked the following questions:
Do you currently have a roommate with a fever and/or shortness of breath/tight chest?
Have you had the new corona virus and has this been diagnosed in the past 7 days (in a lab)?
Do you have a roommate/family member with the new corona virus and have you had contact with him/her in the past 14 days while he/she still had complaints?
Are you in quarantine because you have had direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the new corona virus?
Based on this, a new assessment may follow. Failure to complete and/or return the questionnaires may result in denial of access to the event.
FOR CLARITY’S SAKE: The data from the temperature scans and the answers to the health questions will be permanently registered NOWHERE by us.
We warn all visitors, crew members, officials, sponsors and other guests on arrival that in case of complaints – such as coughing, nasal colds, a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, or feeling short of breath – not originating from a previously known condition that has nothing to do with COVID-19, they should stay at home and have themselves tested.
We are fortunate that, because it concerns a European Championship, we had already hired a professional first aid team (in addition to the already highly qualified people within our own crew). The team is headed by Miranda van Wezendonk, in daily life an IC nurse, who is also in charge of an SHE (hospital Emergency Department).
Everybody who enters the Lourdes Church has to disinfect their hands with the means provided there and then the temperature is measured with an infrared thermometer, without touching. This has to be done every time, so going outside and coming back means disinfecting the hands again and a new temperature scan.
If someone refuses this, we, unfortunately, cannot grant that person access to the building. If it turns out that someone has a fever, or other suspicious symptoms, first aid team is called in for a further assessment. In case of doubt, a doctor will be consulted. People who are classified as corona suspects do not enter the building. We discuss whether we should arrange transport to a doctor, or whether they should be transported to a hospital. We take absolutely no risks.
In addition, we strictly adhere to the one-and-a-half metre distance, provided that it is still mandatory by then; in all probability this will be the case. We have running lines, signage and a system where players have an assigned place when their opponent is playing. They are not allowed to go to the oche until the opponent has taken his or her own waiting position. This is monitored by our crew throughout the game.
Everyone present must abide by our house rules imposed by law. The house rules imposed by law are: Keep a distance of 1.5 meters, frequently clean hands, do not shake hands, cough/sneeze in elbow fold, single use of paper handkerchiefs and then immediately clean hands and avoid touching face as much as possible. It is also forbidden to encourage, cheer and applaud players by raising one’s voice.
Our crew will receive protective clothing, with mouth caps, gloves, possibly goggles and, if desired, an apron from us. Everything is of medical quality, disposable and it is always replaced on time (for example, mouth caps only work 100% for three hours). We have six toilets and at the entrance to those toilets is a crew member-1. Crew member-2 cleans the toilets thoroughly after every couple of visits. It is also the task of the toilet user to clean this toilet, before and after usage.
There will be sets of gloves and mouth caps for sale at the cloakroom for interested visitors. This is not obligatory for the players and visitors, but an extra service on our part.
The maximum number of persons present will probably be over 100, so we assign a fixed seat for everyone, where only at the beginning of the tournament a change may be requested and which cannot be deviated from afterwards. Because of this, the previous plans to split up the participants and reserve a separate room in the hotel will be cancelled.
This fixed seat implies that we will have to sell tickets for visitors. An entrance ticket will cost € 5 per day. As soon as we – in consultation with the various parties – have determined the maximum number of people allowed, we will start distributing the tickets. Player guests and guests of the organization will have priority. Any remaining tickets will go for sale. We want to try to prevent the sale of seats at the door.
Our measures go much further than we are obliged to. Precisely because we know that all people are vulnerable and a number of participants, crew members and visitors, are extra vulnerable. This is another reason why we are as cautious as possible and fully follow the recommendations and obligations of the government.