Maine State Commissioner Reg Hatfield has issued the following update on the Coronavirus situation.
I received the below bulletin (Babe Ruth League Coronavirus Update) from Babe Ruth Inc headquarters this afternoon. Please read it carefully. They are now suggesting not mandating that leagues choose to postpone or suspend your local league’s season in accordance with our states public health department (Maine CDC). Here is the bulletin from our Governor and the Maine CDC with their suggestions :
Recommending Postponing Large, Indoor Gatherings: Because COVID-19 spreads easily and rapidly, the U.S. CDC has recommended "social distancing" - which means keeping your distance from other people, especially those most at risk of getting sick, including older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. It is one of the most effective strategies to prevent community spread of coronavirus. In light of that guidance and upon the recommendation of the Coronavirus Response Team and the experts at the Maine CDC, Governor Mills is recommending the postponement of all non-essential large, indoor group gatherings in Maine of 250 or more attendees for the next 30 days.
Reducing the interaction of large groups of people now can delay an outbreak as well as substantially reduce its spread. Doing so will also reduce the strain on our health care system so that it can respond effectively to people diagnosed with the virus as well as other patients. Ultimately, organizers will decide for themselves the necessity of their events with the help of guidance issued by the Maine CDC and Maine people will decide for themselves the necessity of their attendance. This is not a recommendation to close schools. The Maine Department of Education continues to work closely with the Maine CDC and schools across Maine to help them prepare for COVID-19.
The Governor will re-evaluate this recommendation two weeks from now and adjust it based on the circumstances and up-to-date guidance from the U.S. CDC and Maine CDC guidance.
Babe Ruth League Coronavirus Update
Updated: March 13, 2020
Due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other health authorities, BABE RUTH LEAGUE, INC. is implementing health and safety procedures as part of a proactive approach to preventing the spread of germs.
Babe Ruth League, Inc. is still planning the tournament trail for all divisions later this summer and will work with all leagues to ensure the leagues will have whatever might be required for players to be eligible to participate when the time comes. We expect to provide ongoing updates as we deal with these unprecedented circumstances.
We are suggesting these new measures be effective immediately. We cannot stress enough how vital it is that all Babe Ruth League participants acknowledge these guidelines.
Suspension/Postponement of Regular Season
Babe Ruth League suggests postponement or suspension of your local league’s season in accordance with your state’s public health department recommendations (click here for a listing of state public health departments), and other county and/or local authorities including area school districts and government agencies.
Babe Ruth League is recommending a precautionary “no-contact, no-handshake policy” to be observed at every level of the organization until further notice. This includes all physical contact and extends to customary game-related activities, such as pre-game coaches’ handshakes, umpire-coach introductions, and post-game handshakes between members of opposing teams. Instead, staff, players and coaches should use verbal queues, such as tipping of the cap or saying, “good game” without shaking hands, high-fiving or fist-bumping.
Maintain Good Hygiene Practices
All Babe Ruth League participants should be aware of the coronavirus risk and take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to germs. This includes maintaining good hygiene practices. We strongly recommend the following:
- Wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; this is suggested after any physical contact with another person or with a shared surface
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your mouth and nose – with a tissue, if possible – when coughing or sneezing, then properly discard the tissue in the trash
- Avoid close contact with anyone else who is coughing or sneezing or who is otherwise sick Clean or disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
In addition, cleaning and sanitizing hard surfaces and shared equipment that your league utilizes; making sure all players have their own water/drink bottles and are not sharing; stocking bathrooms and concession stand areas with soap and hand sanitizer
If you or your child are ill, have a fever, cough, or a respiratory condition, we encourage you or your child to refrain from Babe Ruth League-related activities until cleared by your healthcare provider
We will provide updates related to these new measures or let you know about any additional precautions to take if and when they become necessary. We appreciate your cooperation in following these new procedures as we work together to maintain the highest health and safety standards as an organization.
Maine State Commissioner