WIHS COVID-19 Protocols

WIHS COVID-19 Protocols

Covid-19 Action Plan and Mitigation Protocols

The WIHS Regional Horse Show is committed to running safe and controlled sport and lays out the following guidelines and best practices for operation Morven Park Equestrian Center.  The national governing body of equestrian sport, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), has established a comprehensive set of guidelines which we have used as a basis for our protocols. These protocols are also in line with state, local, and federal regulations as well as guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The full USEF protocols are updated on Tuesday of each week and may be reviewed here:
https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/XhKGVYiiwTA/usef-covid-19-action-plan-for-operating

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Caitlin Lane, WIHS Regional Health and Safety Manager, at caitlin@wihs.org.

COVID-19 Protocols

General

  • Screening and monitoring – Everyone entering the venue will have their temperatures taken daily when entering the facility. Masks MUST be worn for the temperature check. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or above may not enter the facility. Anyone who feels sick should stay home.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – A face mask or face covering is required for everyone on the venue at all times while on competition grounds except when mounted on a horse. Necessary PPE will be provided to all staff and officials and disposable masks will be available for exhibitors at each ingate.
  • Social Contract – By attending and participating, athletes, trainers and grooms agree to follow the horse show protocol or will be asked to leave; they also agree to follow/respect community and local rules while visiting the area. Trainers will be responsible for distributing necessary protective gear as required by state and local regulations to all employees and athletes.  We will have additional PPE on site if necessary.  If someone onsite starts to show symptoms, they will be asked to leave the venue. 
  • Social Distancing - All individuals must practice social distancing (or physical distancing) at all times while on the competition grounds by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from any person who is not a member of their immediate household. Members of the same household are still required to wear masks or face coverings at all times while on competition grounds.
  • Social Distancing and Mask Enforcement – WIHS REGIONAL staff and additional safety coordinators will monitor and have the authority to warn and remind anyone on Morven Park property of the necessity of social distancing. During a competition, Stewards will report non-compliance to competition management, and individuals who continue to demonstrate non-compliance with social distancing or mask/face covering requirements will be promptly removed from the competition grounds by competition management. Stewards will document and include in their report to the USEF all incidents of non-compliance, so that USEF can address any deficiencies.
  • Signage – There will be posted signage throughout the facility displaying applicable CDC, state, federal and local governmental safety advisories.
  • Communication – We will clearly inform all participants, officials and competition personnel of protocols and safeguards implemented for their protection against spreading COVID-19 by providing them with a list of such measures. Updates and competition information will be included in the prize lists, schedules and will be readily available through the website and app.

Venue Access

  • Everyone entering the venue will be required to have their temperature taken at the front gate to enter the competition grounds. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or above may not enter the facility.
  • You also may not enter the facility if any of the following apply:
    • Anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms
    • Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within last ten days
    • Anyone who has tested positive outside of the past 10 days, but is still symptomatic
    • Or anyone who has been in close contact* with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days (exception: Healthcare personnel who have treated patients using appropriate medical grade PPE during the course of performing professional duties are exempted from this restriction.
    • * Close Contact – For purposes of this document, close contact as defined by the CDC is someone who was within six (6) feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two (2) days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. It is important to note that close contact has occurred even if one, or both individuals is wearing a mask. (Refer to CDC FAQ). Anyone who has been in contact with an individual who is confirmed or suspected to be COVID19-positive should quarantine in accordance with CDC Guidelines.
  • It is strongly recommended that if people are going to travel together in the same vehicle to a competition, they should take their temperature prior to getting into the vehicle to ensure no one travels to the competition with an elevated temperature.
  • Competition organizers will restrict access to competition grounds in accordance with state and local travel and quarantine restrictions.
  • Public access and spectators are prohibited for 2020.

Competition and Practice Areas

  • There will be posted orders of go for classes and estimated ride times so that athletes/trainers know when and where they will show to reduce congregating in holding areas. Priority rings will be established on daily numbers and time constraints and will be communicated to riders/trainers. Ingate communications will be thorough and frequent.
  • Routine PA announcements announcing protocol requirements via facility system to ensure exhibitors are aware of ongoing procedures and any new protocol.
  • Athletes will be given awards following their events using a method that reduces or eliminates hand-to-hand contact and maintains social distancing. Award presentations for special classes will be communicated to riders and will follow proper social distancing protocols.
  • WIHS REGIONAL staff will wipe down jump equipment throughout the day. Anyone touching warm up jump will be required to wear gloves.
  • If necessary, exercise areas and schooling times (including morning schooling in show rings) will be restricted to limit number of athletes on horses to practice social distancing guidelines.
  • In classes where riders compete collectively, we will determine and communicate to participants the maximum number of horses permitted in each competition area at one time based on the size of the competition areas and social distancing requirements.
  • Face masks must be worn during course walks. Stewards and staff will monitor course walks to ensure they comply with social distancing requirements and that there is adequate space between barn groups.  Management will schedule smaller groups in separate sections or make other adjustments as needed.
  • Schooling areas will be monitored and controlled by stewards, schooling supervisors and/or ingate personnel. A maximum of two people will be allowed per schooling jump and on opposite sides. Jumps will be spaced to accommodate people on both sides with social distancing.
  • Mounting blocks will be available in schooling areas to avoid one-on-one contact between riders and grooms/assistants.
  • Seating areas will be limited and compliant with social distancing requirements. They will also be sanitized regularly.
  • Golf Carts: All individuals MUST wear face masks and cart capacity may not exceed the number of seats on the cart. Congregating on or around a parked or stationary golf cart or vehicle is prohibited.
  • If you are eating or drinking outside of a dedicated Food and Drink area including in golf carts, you must move at least 6’ away from others to eat or drink.  Your mask must be immediately replaced when finished.

Stabling Area

  • Stabling will be configured to comply with social distancing requirements between groups in order to manage concentration of horses and people, utilizing stabling separation as needed.
  • Access will be restricted to athletes, trainers, grooms, veterinarians and other essential personnel only. Trainers must manage their barn areas and minimize the number people in the stable area.
  • Groups congregating is discouraged; people must practice safe social distancing protocols.

Show Office

  • The show office will be configured to allow proper social distancing and will be restricted to essential personnel only. Clear plexiglass protective shields have been installed in front of office staff and there will be separate entrance and exit doors to prevent bottlenecks and cross-traffic.
  • Please process entries and necessary paperwork online at site
  • The amount of people in the show office will be limited to one person per show secretary at a time. If necessary, lines will form outside the office and will follow social distancing guidelines with markers delineating 6’ spacing. Only one representative per barn may come to the show office at a time.
  • If entries need to be limited, WIHS REGIONAL will notify USEF and information regarding stabling and entries will be posted on the competition website or in the prize list.
  • WIHS REGIONAL will publish their policy regarding entry and stall refunds within the prize list and/or on the competition website.

Hospitality, F&B, Bars

  • Masks are required and must be worn when in food and beverage areas. You may only take your mask off when seated at your table and eating or drinking a mask must be worn when you are not eating or drinking. 
  • If you are eating or drinking outside of a dedicated Food and Beverage area including in golf carts, you must move at least 6’ away from others to eat or drink.  Your mask must be immediately replaced when finished.

Sanitation

  • All tables, chairs, common surfaces and equipment are sanitized routinely throughout the day with Fight Bac RTU hospital grade disinfectant.
  • Outdoor hand sanitizing dispenser stands will be placed around the facility in high touch point areas (to include by ingate, at entrance to schooling arena, stabling, show office, VIP area, judges’ boxes, restrooms etc)

Communication

  • WIHS REGIONAL will use signage, radio, phone, e-mail and online communication methods as much as possible and clearly communicate important information frequently throughout the competition grounds. There are various speaker systems around the facility to communicate update and we are looking into a group text software to send venue-wide alerts.
  • Athletes and trainers can check results of classes, orders of go and live scorings in real time on the Show Competition app to minimize in person interaction.
  • Multi-modal communication strategies will be utilized for ongoing updates (signage, social media, website updates, email, mass texting app, etc.) to establish clear lines of communication between media team, event organizers, event staff, athletes and their personnel.
  • All participants, staff and officials will be notified if the organizers/medical personnel learn of a confirmed case of Covid-19 at the event.

Positive Test Protocol

  • Exhibitors must notify WIHS REGIONAL if they test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of the competition.
  • WIHS REGIONAL will notify USEF, all participants and competition staff if a person who was present on the competition grounds tests positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of the conclusion of competition.
  • If there has been an infected person onsite, WIHS REGIONAL will temporarily shut down the appropriate areas or full venue if necessary to deep clean and disinfect (the duration of closure will align with CDC recommendations and in compliance with local health officials).
  • Competition Organizers must report confirmed cases including any relevant information on circumstances of transmission and contacts of the infected to assist contact tracing to local health officials within 24 hours.
  • Any competition delays, suspensions or cancellations will be communicated promptly to participants and the local community.
  • Competition Organizers will work with local health officials to establish a site-specific response plan for confirmed cases and to make decisions regarding competition delays, suspensions and facility closures.
  • Competition Organizers will continue to monitor the WHO Mass Gathering for Sports Risk Assessment score and, if the risk increases, they will assess the need to delay, suspend, close or cancel the event.
  • Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms. Staff and participants with symptoms (based on self-assessment, screening etc.) will be sent home.
  • Review case details and show participant list to assist in contact tracing.

Responsibilities of Participants – Trainers, Owners, Riders, Support Personnel

  • Trainers are responsible for the entire group including riders, grooms, support personnel, etc. We ask that you please make sure your entire group is aware of protocols and prepared to comply with all facility protocols.
  • Trainers should provide thermometers, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and other PPE deemed necessary to your barn staff and other personnel and encourage them to use these items on a regular basis.
  • Participants should self-monitor their temperature prior to arriving to the competition grounds to ensure they do not have symptoms.
  • It is strongly recommended that if people are going to travel together in the same vehicle to a competition, they should take their temperature prior to getting into the vehicle to ensure no one travels to the competition with an elevated temperature.
  • Trainers should have a support plan in place for any member of their team that is denied access to the event due to medical concerns. Do not mix equipment (tack, grooming supplies, lead shanks, etc.) and sanitize between each use.
  • Regularly sanitize golf carts, bikes, cars/trucks and stable doors, buckets, light switches, equipment in your barn area including tack, grooming, feeding, stall cleaning materials, surfaces in common areas, etc.