Coronavirus Protocol (updated June 3)

Published: March 27, 2020 | Updated: June 3, 2020

(Communicated by Nordiq Canada). The situation respecting the current pandemic is changing rapidly as it affects the activities of Nordiq Canada National, Divisions, clubs and members. It is expected that updated restrictions and recommendations published by your local public health authority and the Government of Canada are followed.

Nordiq Canada COVID-19 Protocol

Government of Canada COVID-19

Government of Canada

Visit the Government of Canada website for updated information, visit website (click this link).

Sport Medical Advisory Committee

Nordiq Canada is grateful for the support of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee, which continues to distribute regular updates. View updates below.

UPDATE #18 | 3 June 2020
Advisory on COVID-19
Disease Update
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is over 6.5 million with over 3 million recovered and 383,000 deaths. Mortality rate in Canada is 8 %. Many countries are continuing to reopen aspects of their economies and loosen restrictions and we are monitoring the results carefully.In Canada we have over 92,400 cases, 7,400 deaths and 50,000 (55%) recovered. Of the 34,000 presently active cases in Canada 97% are classified as mild. The curve has been flattened for the most part with few “hot spots” but we must continue to be diligent as the weather improves and some relaxation of measures may be taken as a green light by some to return to “normal” way of doing things.

This progressive relaxation of restrictions will have an impact on training and access to facilities, but timing will differ across regions and across different sports. Each athlete and sport is working on plans and using the guidelines as set out in the R-SAT (Return to Sport Assessment Tool) and the recent publication of the COVID-19 Return to High Performance Sport Framework from the High Performance Return to Sport Task Force.

Institutes and Training Facilities
At this stage all Canadians remain under national and provincial public health guidance and as such the majority of institutes and public training facilities remain closed at this time. The timing and level of operations possible will be dependent on the local restrictions in place at the time and vary from one institute to another. A summary of present status is given below. INSThe medical clinic will start seeing patients in person beginning next week, they continue to work with the provincial government on the opening of the facility for training.

CSIO opened their strength and conditioning facilities on June 2, 2020. Please check with them on the details of what services are open and how they may be accessed.

CSI Calgary
CSI Calgary facility / indoor training remains closed at this time. Outdoor training has started.  

CSI PacificPlan is for opening 15 June and please check with institute for details.  

Return to Training in Clubs and GroupsThe Return to Sport Task Force has published their COVID-19 Return to High Performance Sport Framework as well as a Club Risk Assessment and Mitigation Checklist Tool that has been developed. English and French copies of the documents are available on Own the Podium’s web site ( COVID-19 Resources).

The Task Force continues to work on several other aspects including CCES testing, protocols for testing of symptomatic members of the team and return to sport after positive COVID-19 infection.

“WHEN COVID-19 AFFECTS ONE OF US” It is possible that one of us (e.g. athlete, coach, IST, family member) contracts COVID-19. Working with local public health authorities is crucial for the person affected, and those around him/her. Concerns, worries and anxiety about becoming or being ill are normal, and can be managed by following these next steps:Preparation is an antidote to anxiety and leads to effective coping. Know the signs & symptoms, what to do, what to expect, and where to access support along the way. Follow guidelines and directions from your health authorities (e.g. self-isolation, quarantine), and ask for practical support from others (e.g. supplies, groceries).Inform your team physician, coach, MPC, or another trusted IST member about your situation and condition. Discuss who is going to be the point-person for contact and information sharing, and what can or should be shared with others (e.g. staff, teammates, others).Initiate contact with your MPC or others (see Mental Health Resource Guide) for support to maintain your well-being.


Updated links from the Government of Canada and WHO Information
Further Questions:
Further information about COVID-19 may be obtained from your NSO Chief Medical Officer or Team Physician, or the Chief Medical Officers of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee.
Dr. Mike Wilkinson, Canadian Olympic Committee: mwilkinson@olympic.caDr. Andy Marshall Canadian, Paralympic Committee: amarshall@paralympic.caDr. Suzanne Leclerc, Institut National du Sport du Québec: sleclerc@insquebec.orgDr. Doug Richards, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario: drichards@csiontario.caDr. Brian Benson, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: bbenson@csicalgary.caDr. Paddy McCluskey, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific:

UPDATE #17 | 21 May 2020



General Statement on COVID-19 testing:
In Canada, indications for conducting testing for COVID-19 have changed over the course of the pandemic, as case definitions have evolved, and testing kits have become more available. The high-performance sport sector in Canada is considering testing of high-performance athletes in controlled, ‘bubble’ environments. Questions and considerations regarding athlete testing are under review and will inform a thoughtful, and planned response to the potential use of testing as one of numerous mitigation strategies used by an NSO in their return to training planning.

What is COVID-19 testing?
The most common test to confirm the diagnosis of COVID-19 is PCR testing of nasopharyngeal and/or throat swabs, combined with relevant clinical findings. The Public Health Agency of Canada has recommended using multiple samples over multiple days in those whose symptoms are strongly suggestive of COVID-19 yet return an initial negative test. In general, PCR tests for other respiratory viral infections tend to have a high sensitivity and specificity, although there is limited data specific to COVID-19.

As of May 20, 2020, two serology tests have been approved for use in Canada. At this stage the availability is limited to in Lab use and the reliable (approved) tests are not widely available for community screening. There is still significant debate on how long and to what level a person who has been infected with COVID 19 will maintain immunity or protection from a new infection. At this stage routine serology testing, specifically to enable return to group training or competition, is not recommended. As with everything in this pandemic this may change, and we will continue to monitor for any developments relevant to sports

What are issues with COVID-19 testing?

There are at least 500 COVID -19 tests available around the world of which 19 are of sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be licensed for use in Canada.

Even with the most reliable tests there are issues with timing of testing, methods of taking samples and viral shedding that may result in negative results in people who are asymptomatic yet may actually be infected.
At present testing of asymptomatic individuals using nasal swabs (PCR tests) as a screening tool is not recommended to be used routinely as a method for clearing an individual for return to play or joining a training group. Research confirms that presently the most sensitive screen is a combination of daily symptom checks, testing of any symptomatic individuals, placing individuals with suspected COVID-19 infections in isolation until test results are available, isolation of any confirmed positive individuals and tracing of all contacts. Management of any positive cases must follow local public health regulations and guidelines.

When should a test be considered or used in a high-performance sport environment?

The Canadian high-performance sector has considered the appropriate use of testing for high-performance athletes in controlled, ‘bubble’ environments. At this point, the position is to support testing for COVID-19 for athletes, coaches, staff, etc. in the daily training environment who are symptomatic only and not as a pre-entry screening measure. The fundamental principle underlying this approach is to protect the health and safety of athletes, coaches, staff, their families, facility staff and communities.

What are the considerations being undertaken in Canada for implementation of testing for high-performance athletes?
The decision to engage in testing of high-performance athletes in Canada is complex and consideration is being given to resource implications in the following areas:

  • Expertise – testing will be carried out through the local health authority or with their approval in a designated area conforming to regulations including proper training of individuals involved in the performance of the test, cleaning of the test space and managing of the results of said testing per PHAC regulations.
  • PPE – Use of personal protective equipment for all sample collection (e.g.) gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection. Safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces in the patient environment, and respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.
  • Testing Isolation – A designated room is required for testing. This room must not be used for other purposes and must be a room that can be fully sanitized between each athlete test. There must be an entry point to this room that is separate from the exit.

These considerations are being addressed in a High-Performance Athlete Testing Protocol.

Return to training protocol after symptomatic diagnosis is being researched and additional information and plan for how to return a high-performance athlete to training will be published in the near future. This is an area of developing information and best practices are in their infancy.

NSO decisions to engage in athlete COVID-19 testing should be made in consultation with a Team CMO and/or a CMO member of SMAC. 


Further Questions:

Further information about COVID-19 may be obtained from your NSO Chief Medical Officer or Team Physician, or the Chief Medical Officers of the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee.

Dr. Mike Wilkinson, Canadian Olympic Committee:
Dr. Andy Marshall Canadian, Paralympic Committee:
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, Institut National du Sport du Québec:
Dr. Doug Richards, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario:
Dr. Brian Benson, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary:
Dr. Paddy McCluskey, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific:

There will be a number of impacts to address over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, we are here to answer your questions as best we can. Nordiq Canada staff is working from home and is best reached by direct email: