Back on the Ice

tstop4me

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thanks for your entire post, the information within it was fairly accurate.

One point is that if your mask is not completely tight to the point of discomfort, then droplets can still escape from the person wearing the mask, rendering it almost useless. Even surgical masks are difficult to wear during intensive exercise if worn properly. They take temperatures and check symptoms, so that is probably the best thing they can do along with the system of having the same people each time.
Coaches wearing masks also good thing as they could wear properly.

The fact they take them off for programs also makes them worth less as it can spread if the person doing the program has covid.

I'll wait for your points about face shields before saying anything else :)
I agree that solutions that can be implemented on a mass scale with the general public have flaws and vulnerabilities. We're facing a "best-effort" scenario, particular with the limited availability of proper gear (even if one knew how to wear them properly). The problem I see with primarily counting on checking temp and other symptoms is that people can be infected and can spread the virus for several days or so (reports keep changing) before they develop symptoms. Furthermore, while temp can be independently checked by a staff member, other symptoms are self-reported, and the accuracy of the self-report can't be verified by a staff member (unless the skater is flagrantly hacking or sneezing as he comes in).

No one remedy will likely work at this stage; the hope is that a combination of imperfect remedies will lead to an acceptable overall level of control, as we await a vaccine or a successful course of treatment.
 

kolyadafan2002

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I agree that solutions that can be implemented on a mass scale with the general public have flaws and vulnerabilities. We're facing a "best-effort" scenario, particular with the limited availability of proper gear (even if one knew how to wear them properly). The problem I see with primarily counting on checking temp and other symptoms is that people can be infected and can spread the virus for several days or so (reports keep changing) before they develop symptoms. Furthermore, while temp can be independently checked by a staff member, other symptoms are self-reported, and the accuracy of the self-report can't be verified by a staff member (unless the skater is flagrantly hacking or sneezing as he comes in).

No one remedy will likely work at this stage; the hope is that a combination of imperfect remedies will lead to an acceptable overall level of control, as we await a vaccine or a successful course of treatment.

a vaccine will take years at best,

In terms of asymptomatic spread - this happens from touching surfaces, and the best defense is from washing your hands constantly.
Asymptomatic spread won't happen from people being in the same room, only from virus particles getting airborne from symptomatic spread.
 

tstop4me

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* <To be continued. I’m tired of writing; and, if you’ve read this far, you’re tired of reading. I’ll continue later with a discussion of face shields (and why I think they might be the best choice for skaters).>

* The main function of a face shield is to prevent direct contact between the wearer’s face and hazardous solid or liquid substances projected towards the wearer’s face. E.g., face shields sold at Home Depot can protect faces of demolition workers from flying splinters or flying shards of glass, brick, or stone. In chem labs, face shields can protect faces of researchers from being splashed with acids or solvents. In hospitals, face shields can protect faces of medical workers from being splashed with muck spitted out by a patient or blood squirting out from a patient.

Typically, a face shield is not used alone, and serves as an additional piece of protective gear. Demolition and chemical workers, e.g., will typically wear goggles to protect their eyes, with a face shield over the goggles. And by now we’ve all seen videos of medical workers in the most hazardous scenarios wearing goggles over their eyes, an N95 respirator over their mouth and nose, a surgical mask over the N95 respirator, and finally a face shield over all that gear.

A face shield is typically fabricated from an impact-resistant, non-porous, transparent plastic. It is attached to an adjustable headband assembly that is fitted onto the wearer’s head. The face shield is often attached via pivot joints, allowing it to be flipped up and down. The headband assembly maintains a distance between the face shield and the face: the face shield doesn’t touch the face (except when the pivots are loose, then the face shield can press against a wearer’s nose).

Some face shields are designed primarily to protect the front of the face. Others are more fully contoured, having sections that wrap along the sides of the face back towards the ears, a section that wraps above the forehead along the front top of the head, and a section that wraps below the chin. This protects the face when solids or liquids are projected towards the face from a wide variety of angles.

Now this is pure speculation on my part. I think that a fully contoured face shield, used by itself, would also be effective for mitigating (not eliminating) the expulsion of muck from an infected wearer’s nose and mouth into the ambient air. Air carrying the muck would be expelled first towards the front inside of the face shield, be redirected out the periphery of the face shield back onto other parts of the wearer’s head, and then finally out to the ambient air. The muck follows a path that allows it to settle on the face shield or wearer’s head before it enters the ambient air. At the same time, since the face shield is not tightly fitted about the wearer’s mouth and nose, the wearer can breathe more easily (a function of the gap between the periphery of the face shield and the wearer’s face).

For hockey players, I think this can be readily done. A partial face shield is already one option for a helmet. A more contoured one would need to be designed and fitted. Figure skaters (especially top competitive skaters) generally don’t wear helmets. Standard face shields are not viable since they are attached only by a headband assembly, and the face shield would flop around during skating (especially if the face shield is attached with pivot joints). The pivot joints would be eliminated, and a chin cup and chinstrap would be added to hold the bottom of the face shield in place. Since high impact resistance is not an issue in figure skating (as it is in hockey), the face shield can be fabricated from thin, lightweight sheet plastic. During the height of the crisis, when face shields were scarce, MIT fabricated disposable face shields for medical workers from thin, lightweight sheet plastic; they were deployed in the field.

More complex designs would include contoured channels along the periphery of the face shield to further trap muck from escaping into the ambient air, while still allowing good breathability (perhaps a channeled gasket). And again, this is not a 100% effective solution (none is). The questions are would it be a more effective solution than the various face coverings now out there, and would figure skaters adopt it. After all, an effective solution is useless unless people are willing to use it. To reiterate: all this is just speculation on my part.
 

Bill S

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I can't even wear my glasses without them fogging up. I think full shields, in cool air with hot breath blowing on them, would really have a problem.
 

Bill S

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Now that's a great thing to try. Even just for my glasses.
 

tstop4me

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I can't even wear my glasses without them fogging up. I think full shields, in cool air with hot breath blowing on them, would really have a problem.

That depends very much on the material. I skate with my glasses on. I'm strongly near-sighted; I need to. At one time, I had problems with fogging, but once I switched to polycarbonate lenses with anti-scratch coating, that went away. When I run my snowblower, I wear a face shield to keep the snow from whipping into my face at times. My glasses stayed clear, but the face shield initially fogged. I got some anti-fog solution that skiers use on their goggles. Did the trick. But I'll definitely try soap this winter.
 

hanyuufan5

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I have to wear one of those blasted N95s when doing certain activities. They bleeping hurt, although I'm not sure how much of that is the mask itself and how much is my big round noggin that needs Asian fit everything even though I'm only 5-10% Asian. That being said, I'd be more than willing to at least try skating in one.
 

kolyadafan2002

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I have to wear one of those blasted N95s when doing certain activities. They bleeping hurt, although I'm not sure how much of that is the mask itself and how much is my big round noggin that needs Asian fit everything even though I'm only 5-10% Asian. That being said, I'd be more than willing to at least try skating in one.

You do not want to skate in an N95 :).

Although I'm with you, I'd try if I could. My ice rink is a long long way from opening (Possibly even October at this point!)
 

tstop4me

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In terms of asymptomatic spread - this happens from touching surfaces, and the best defense is from washing your hands constantly.
Asymptomatic spread won't happen from people being in the same room, only from virus particles getting airborne from symptomatic spread.

Since this is a skating forum, I don’t want to go too far adrift. But since returning to the ice safely is on many of our minds right now, I think it’s appropriate to pursue this issue further.

First, since there has been inconsistent usage of terms, I want to make sure we're using the terms the same way. “Nonsymptomatic spread” has been further broken down into two categories: “presymptomatic spread” (spread from people who are infected, don’t exhibit symptoms at the present moment, but do develop symptoms later on) and asymptomatic spread (spread from people who are infected, don’t exhibit symptoms at the present, and don’t develop symptoms later on). <WHO reference below.> It’s now important to distinguish between these two categories, because the likelihood of spread may be different between them. So I’d like to check on your usage of “asymptomatic spread”. Your post indicates that this issue is well settled. I’d also appreciate the sources you are basing this on.

On the flip side, below are sources that indicate that the issue is not well settled, but the topic of ongoing, dynamic debate. Since public health officials and researchers have not reached a consensus, and given the consequences of getting it wrong, I personally am in favor of erring on the side of caution for now (until there is sufficient convincing data to the contrary that the experts agree on), and taking precautions, assuming there is the potential for nonsymptomatic spread.


* The latest CDC info (updated June 16, 2020) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html) has this to say:

How COVID-19 Spreads
Updated June 16, 2020

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

<<Italics added>>

* The latest WHO guidance on masks (updated to June 5, 2020) (https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream...C_Masks-2020.4-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y) (pg. 2) has this to say:

Current evidence suggests that most transmission of COVID-19 is occurring from symptomatic people to others in close contact, when not wearing appropriate PPE. Among symptomatic patients, viral RNA can be detected in samples weeks after the onset of illness, but viable virus was not found after day 8 post onset of symptoms (19, 20) for mild patients, though this may be longer for severely ill patients. Prolonged RNA shedding, however, does not necessarily mean continued infectiousness. Transmissibility of the virus depends on the amount of viable virus being shed by a person, whether or not they are coughing and expelling more droplets, the type of contact they have with others, and what IPC measures are in place. Studies that investigate transmission should be interpreted bearing in mind the context in which they occurred.

There is also the possibility of transmission from people who are infected and shedding virus but have not yet developed symptoms; this is called pre-symptomatic transmission. The incubation period for COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset, is on average 5-6 days, but can be as long as 14 days.(21, 22) Additionally, data suggest that some people can test positive for COVID-19, via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing 1-3 days before they develop symptoms.(23) Pre-symptomatic transmission is defined as the transmission of the COVID-19 virus from someone infected and shedding virus but who has not yet developed symptoms. People who develop symptoms appear to have higher viral loads on or just prior to the day of symptom onset, relative to later on in their infection.(24)

Some people infected with the COVID-19 virus do not ever develop any symptoms, although they can shed virus which may then be transmitted to others. One recent systematic review found that the proportion of asymptomatic cases ranged from 6% to 41%, with a pooled estimate of 16% (12%–20%),(25) although most studies included in this review have important limitations of poor reporting of symptoms, or did not properly define which symptoms they were investigating. Viable virus has been isolated from specimens of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, suggesting, therefore, that people who do not have symptoms may be able transmit the virus to others.(26)Comprehensive studies on transmission from asymptomatic individuals are difficult to conduct, but the available evidence from contact tracing reported by Member States suggests that asymptomatically-infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms.

Among the available published studies, some have described occurrences of transmission from people who did not have symptoms.(21,25-32)For example, among 63 asymptomatically-infected individuals studied in China, there was evidence that 9 (14%) infected another person.(31)Furthermore, among two studies which carefully investigated secondary transmission from cases to contacts, one found no secondary transmission among 91 contacts of 9 asymptomatic cases,(33) while the other reported that 6.4% of cases were attributable to pre-symptomatic transmission.(32) The available data, to date, on onward infection from cases without symptoms comes from a limited number of studies with small samples that are subject to possible recall bias and for which fomite transmission cannot be ruled out.

<<Italics added.>>

* Here is one published study (dated June 3, 2020) cautioning about the potential for a high rate of asymptomatic spread: (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-3012). Caveat: Other studies have reached different conclusions; see reference below.

* And a recent TIME magazine article (dated June 9, 2020) on asymptomatic spread: (https://time.com/5850256/who-asymptomatic-spread/). I include this, because a representative from the WHO gave a press briefing that caused confusion. And a TIME reporter had a follow-up interview with her to get clarification. This article summarizes conflicting reports and statements from various studies, public health officials, and researchers.


 

theblade

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Feb 15, 2018
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46
Still not back on the ice. Sessions are smaller and booked online at the rinks that are open. The challenge is that at each rink, coaches and their main students have first dibs. (Which is understandable.) So immediately when bookings for the week open up, everything is booked solid.

Had planned to train abroad for the summer; the border is still closed until at least July so that probably ends that.

The major rink conglomerate here is opening next week with their own booking system that will be announced to coaches soon. Again, many of the main coaches here have had limited ice time the past few weeks for their national/international competitors.
 

SmallAminal

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My kid is back on the ice as of last Thursday (as of about a week and a half ago Skate Ontario allowed all the way down to STAR 5 level). Previously, for a few weeks it was only Novice and above. The rink has pretty strict procedures - no parents/spectators, a check in desk at the front (health screening, check that waivers are signed) and then skaters proceed to a special area to put on skates and get onto the rink, wearing a mask the whole time until reaching the ice surface. They are asked to limit the belongings they bring with them. Once they are on, the skate change area is cleaned for the next group. They exit one door of the rink at the end of the session and take skates off on another set of chairs, which are also cleaned once they are done. They exit one set of doors and leave immediately. You have to come dressed and warmed up to the rink, although you can warm up outside if weather permits. Only 10 kids on the ice at a time.


The kids at our club had been doing a heavy schedule of off-ice activities, so things were coming back pretty quick - my kid had 2S, 2L, and 2F rotated all on day 2, landings a bit more iffy but it wasn't too bad. I think if there had been absolutely no off-ice training I would have been concerned with coming back so quick to doubles, but it was actually a bit easier to find the rotation after doing a whole lot of off ice jump work and targeted exercises. I get no complaints of soreness or anything like that, so I think they are going at a reasonable pace, including a lot of warm up and stroking on the ice before doing anything else.

The big issue for us (and other families) is the extreme cost of the ice time with reduced numbers. We could skate more, but we aren't because its not financially viable at this point. I fear that a lot of athletes will suffer because of this - the fees will become too expensive while incomes are generally decreased.
 

theblade

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Feb 15, 2018
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Interesting to discuss numbers: 10 on the ice is pretty good. One rink here has 15 skaters max in the a.m., then 20 in the p.m. These are sold-out sessions. Not sure how that qualifies as adequate social distancing.

I had hoped to get my skater booked on the first sessions of the day and then end it, but can't get slots at all.

Sounds like many freestyle coaches and academy set-ups have done the best they could by their students.

And yes, the cost of training on pandemic ice. One rink here was $900 (USD) for two hours of ice time. Up to 20 skaters *and* coaches. One person paid for the session, and then everyone paid said person privately.
 

kolyadafan2002

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The kids at our club had been doing a heavy schedule of off-ice activities, so things were coming back pretty quick - my kid had 2S, 2L, and 2F rotated all on day 2, landings a bit more iffy but it wasn't too bad. I think if there had been absolutely no off-ice training I would have been concerned with coming back so quick to doubles, but it was actually a bit easier to find the rotation after doing a whole lot of off ice jump work and targeted exercises. I get no complaints of soreness or anything like that, so I think they are going at a reasonable pace, including a lot of warm up and stroking on the ice before doing anything else.

I have no doubt it will be easier to rotate doubles. The problem is that you are relying on muscle memory for each technique and jump that hasn't been used for a long time. When it comes to this, there is a huge risk of injury and bad technique.

I'm not saying "every kid will get bad technique" or "every kid will be injured", what I'm saying is that a higher proportion of kids will. For example, one time I took a long time off skating, and when I came back I suddenly started flutzing because I didn't take the time to get jumps back properly.

Off ice exercises are very helpful, but people really shouldn't rush in to jumps. I'm not saying that they won't succeed if they rush in, but it's risky. Generally speaking doubles shouldn't even be considered for junior skaters and below for the first week. It doesn't matter what off ice people do, the risk is there. Even if they do 2 hours per day of the most intensive off ice imaginable.
Your kid has started doubles, so s/he should continue doing them - but I'd recommend that people who haven't yet got back to the ice to heed my advice when they eventually get back.
 

SmallAminal

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And yes, the cost of training on pandemic ice. One rink here was $900 (USD) for two hours of ice time. Up to 20 skaters *and* coaches. One person paid for the session, and then everyone paid said person privately.

:eeking:

Wow, that's US$450 per hour, even more than the "pandemic pricing" here. I do understand that the rinks are incurring extra costs - they have to disinfect everything all day long, likely aren't open as long as usual, etc. If I had to pay US$45/hour (more like C$60) with 10 people on the ice I would have to seriously limit my skater. Current pricing for us is unaffordable enough. I have already seen some families pull back on ice time due to cost.
 

kolyadafan2002

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:eeking:

Wow, that's US$450 per hour, even more than the "pandemic pricing" here. I do understand that the rinks are incurring extra costs - they have to disinfect everything all day long, likely aren't open as long as usual, etc. If I had to pay US$45/hour (more like C$60) with 10 people on the ice I would have to seriously limit my skater. Current pricing for us is unaffordable enough. I have already seen some families pull back on ice time due to cost.


Believe me they arent doing it because of extra costs, they are capitalising on the fact there are limited alternatives. They know the demand and the supply, and they know they can get away with charging more so they do.
 

Sunshine247

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Dec 17, 2018
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Our rink is open, has been for several weeks now and unfortunately mask usage is spotty.We returned after rinks were already open for Two weeks. So what I’m seeing is complacency creeping in.

My skater and I wear some Norwex brand mask that fit well, and seem to offer a bit of wearer protection. It’s not 100% effective, but I’m trying to find a balance. We disinfect, wash hands, wear masks, but I’m sure there will be contact with the virus. In these times it’s just about minimizing risk and doing the best you can. I’m trying to get the girls to wear my homemade cloth masks with some filter material but DD1 says they’re too DIY. I need a lululemon mask too. lol I’m about to cut up some old shirts at this point!

Mental health is a big factor for our equation as we make decisions. My husband is deployed right now and literally nearly everything has been taken away from my kiddos. School, friends, orchestra, skating. We are struggling tbh. So I risk skating.
I have some graphics for the Norwex masks since I think they’ll be on sale soon. I am not selling them. I found a link to the info graphic but I’m not connected in any way to the blog where I found the graphic. I’ve seen it multiple places but this is just from a search. You’ll have to connect with someone that sells Norwex for more info if you find them of potential value. I’m just sharing something that might be helpful. The girls have found them fairly breathable. They suck in at the nose when you breathe heavy so the fit must be pretty good. Lol. DH has some as well and likes the fit also.

http://https://healthyhomecleaning.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/49/2020/04/Norwex-mask-filtration.jpg

I also mentioned filters. Just in case anyone wants to know, the filter fabric is from a company called Filti. They previously made filters for air purifiers so they offer more filtration. I have been sewing fabric masks and supplying them to my sister working in a nursing home. She had good reports for these options but they do not function as a respirator or N95 mask. She is my only feedback but like I mentioned, we are trying to find workable solutions within the risk we are willing to take. Please take in the information and evaluate for yourself. I’m just offering options that seem more protective than the regular cloth mask. Both options have testing done so that you can evaluate effectiveness based on at least some facts if not a complete study which is lacking for this virus anyway.

I hope the information helps. And to further roast proof myself, I do not think the mask or filter is some magical device protecting me. I do think they offer a fairly comfortable option that is minimally more protective and so that’s what we’re doing. And if I’m carrying the virus, I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for spreading it either....

Good luck out there everyone!
 

tstop4me

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729
And yes, the cost of training on pandemic ice. One rink here was $900 (USD) for two hours of ice time. Up to 20 skaters *and* coaches. One person paid for the session, and then everyone paid said person privately.
May I ask where you are? I'm in the US (NJ, rinks still closed here). One of the county-owned rinks (which usually is cheaper than privately-owned rinks) publishes its fees for private ice time. During regular hours, private rental time is $420 - $440/hr (usual, pre-pandemic); so $450/hr wouldn't be bad at all in my neck of the woods. The question is do you know what the rate at the rink you mentioned was pre-pandemic?
 

theblade

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Feb 15, 2018
Messages
46
Yes, it was $450/hr and I believe that you could just do one hour and another skater could take the second hour. But it was maximum 20 skaters *and* coaches, so the skaters had fewer than 20 to divide the hourly amount by. I don't know what the rink rate was previously; suspect it was within the same range.

We are in California. Our local rink closest to us was about $360/hr private ice rental before things changed, if I remember correctly. That price varied from other rinks in town.
 
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