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Safety Considerations for Opening in a COVID-19 World

posted on May 15, 2020
CGSA understands that these are unprecedented times and information is changing quickly. We want you to know that we are here to listen, to help and provide any assistance that we can. As many provinces/territories have been given the go ahead to open; there are health and safety protocols that need to be implemented. CGSA recommends that you follow the guidelines approved by your provincial health authority / medical officers of health. We must be vigilant and understand that these are re-opening strategies and not a return to pre-pandemic practices.
Public Health Measures
Whether your province/territory has approved play or not it is imperative that these public health measures are instituted for the protection of employees and the public who may visit;
  • Be sure to follow the local public health advice
  • Practice good hygiene including; hand washing, avoid touching your face, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve and disinfecting any high touch areas
  • Maintain physical distancing of 2 metres as much as possible
  • Reduce all non-essential travel
  • If you are unwell, stay at home and self isolate – contact your health care practitioner or public health agency for further guidelines
  • Use non-medical masks to protect others in situations where physical distancing can not be maintained, i.e. shopping or on public transportation
  • Check the Public Health Agency of Canada for updates on COVID-19: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Workplace Health Measures
Additional items beyond the public health measures that state workplaces have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace for all team members. Here are some guidelines to follow for those who are open or who are preparing to open:
  • Post signage at the golf course entry advising about risks of COVID-19 and the COVID-19 physical distancing protocols
  • Team members should know the signs of COVID-19 and not report to the workplace if they are exhibiting any symptoms or are feeling unwell 
  • All team members must practice personal hygiene including each time they enter the maintenance facility appropriate hand washing is required
  • Employers should be providing all team members with their own set of personal protective equipment
  • Hand sanitizer should be available at all entrances and exits of buildings and in all common work areas
  • Consider instituting a cleaning / disinfection kit for each team member using appropriate tools and disinfectants as approved by Health Canada - https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html
  • Team members should minimize any interaction with golfers or customers and maintain appropriate distances between colleagues
  • Keep signage around the maintenance facility including proper hand washing techniques
  • Assign team members to one vehicle / piece of equipment per shift – sharing of equipment is discouraged. After each shift equipment should be fully cleaned / sanitized for the next operator including attention to any touch areas (steering wheel, ignition, gear shift)
  • Team members are encouraged to wear gloves whenever possible and to minimize entering and exiting the maintenance building and/or locker room
  • Alternatives to having the ball drop into a cup should be instituted; that could be turning the cup upside down, using a pool noodle or one of the products available that create a no touch version of removal of the ball from the cup. Flags are to remain in place
  • Remove and/or close all water filling stations
  • Remove all bunker rakes; consider creating a course rule to play as if it is ground under repair
  • Remove benches, ball washers and towels; suggest golfers bring their own water and towel to wash their ball
  • On course washrooms should be either closed or maintained frequently to ensure cleanliness; consider adding a sanitizing station outside of the washroom facility
  • Communications should be done by radio or text messaging, if by radio it should be fully sanitized prior to and following use
  • Garbage collection on the course should be minimal and cleared by employees wearing appropriate PPE
  • Ensure that the common areas in the maintenance facility have enough room for team members to practice physical distance; if not request team members use their vehicle for their break time
  • Consider varying start times and breaks for team members
  • All common areas in the maintenance facility should be properly disinfected and cleaned after use – all team members must clean up after themselves
  • Only equipment technicians should be in the area assigned for equipment maintenance, all tools should be disinfected prior to and after use
  • Fueling stations should be sanitized prior to use and immediately after filling up
  • All members of staff should be well versed in the safety protocol, can consider having each team member sign off that it is read and understood
For additional information please visit our website www.golfsupers.com or your provincial health guidelines for golf.
Some helpful reference items for you:
Newfoundland & Labrador Government Guidelines for Golf We have also received notification that the 20 minute tee time guideline has been revised to: Golf courses are to limit the number of people on the course at one time by either increasing tee‐time intervals and/or blocking off additional starter times. It is imperative that golf course pace of play is maintained and back‐ups at any tee boxes are avoided. Golf courses must manage their tee sheet closely and make adjustments to ensure each group is spaced out from each other with the recommendation to have no more than one foursome at a tee box or at a green. (from NGCOA)
Nova Scotia Outdoor Activities Provincial Guidelines Driving ranges only are open at this time
Ontario Guidance for Health and Safety for the Golf Course Sector Ontario has given the go-ahead to open golf courses as early as May 16, 2020
Quebec Re-Opening Strategy Quebec has advised that they can open on May 20, 2020. 
British Columbia COVID-19 Government Page Golf courses in BC were never mandated closed, this is the hub of information for those in the province.
Mental Health Commission of Canada - helpful mental health resources for you and your team