CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Despite the pandemic, the annual Shooting Star Thanksgiving field hockey tournament is still a go.
The event will be held at the River City Sportsplex in Midlothian from November 27-29 and will feature around 150 teams, according to event organizers.
Event organizer Ainslee Lamb filled 8News in on the precautions they are taking ahead of the tournament. Players, coaches, parents, officials, vendors and staff will all be required to complete a wellness checklist each morning of the tournament and wear masks throughout the day.
Teams that have consistent issues with COVID-19 guidelines will be required to forfeit their game.
Lamb says they reached out to participants, parents, officials and vendor to encourage them to take a COVID-19 before coming to the tournament.
“The county is working closely with tournament organizers and Richmond Region Tourism to help ensure upcoming tournaments at county facilities are following the additional measures outlined in the governor’s new order that went into effect at midnight on Nov. 15,” Chesterfield County digital and media relations manager Teresa Bonifas said. “Chesterfield Parks and Recreation have put in place additional safety measures at River City Sportsplex and Mary B. Stratton Park ahead of the upcoming tournaments including hiring additional staff to assist with crowd control and tournament operations as well as installing additional signage around the complex to remind visitors to social distance and wear facial coverings.
Bonifas said that the measures are in addition to the precautions already put in place by Chesterfield Parks and Recreation, which include one-way entry and exit from fields, extra cleaning of high-touch areas and restrooms and the submission of a safety plan by tournament organizers.
“We are confident we have taken the necessary steps to implement the measures needed to safeguard visitors at our facilities,” Bonifas said, noting that the 25-person limit for gatherings implemented by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam applies to each field, not to the facility as a whole, and that teams, tournament staff and coaches are not included in that number.
Dr. Alexander Samuel, director of the Chesterfield Health District says that events such as this tournament can carry risks of spreading COVID-19 despite being allowed under current executive orders.
“When we learn about events like these, we reach out to the organizers, make them aware of the risks and provide guidance directing them toward compliance with the executive orders,” Samuel said.
If someone involved with the tournament were to test positive, Lamb says they have contact information for the participants that can be used if needed for contact tracing by the state.
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