CFL proceeding with combines, issues protocols amid coronavirus concerns

The Canadian Football League combines will proceed as planned despite the ever-growing coronavirus — COVID-19 — outbreak.

As the league begins its annual regional combines and national talent showcase event in Toronto for Canadian prospects eligible for the 2020 CFL draft, there have been protocols implemented. The Ontario regional goes March 12, Eastern regional March 13 and Western regional March 20.

“The CFL is pleased to welcome leading prospects and the media to these events, where participants can earn invitations to the larger CFL Combine March 26-28 in Toronto.

We urge everyone in attendance to be mindful of the guidance provided by public health officials and other medical experts in the midst of concerns about the coronavirus. If you have experienced symptoms or have been exposed to anyone who has, we ask that you do not attend. Separate arrangements will be made to supplement your coverage of the event.

For those in attendance, officials have advised all of us to keep a safe distance while in conversation, therefore, media availabilities will feature the use of a uni-microphone instead of traditional scrums or one-on-ones. As they have stressed the importance of hygiene, hand sanitizer will be available in addition to hand-washing facilities in on-site washrooms.

The CFL values the health and safety of its entire family, including prospects, players, coaches, staff and, of course, our fans. We are consulting other leagues, speaking with medical experts on an ongoing basis, and doing careful and responsible contingency planning.

Based on the current information and the latest expert guidance, we’re looking forward to the opening of CFL training camps in May and the start of our regular season this June. In the weeks ahead, the CFL will continue to update the media and public.”

As of March 11, there were 103 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada: Ontario 42; British Columbia 39; Alberta 14; Quebec seven and one repatriated Canadian. One Canadian citizen has passed way due to the illness.

The outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, has been a challenge to combat around the world. At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population, but it could change rapidly.

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