Seniors curling tourney still a go in Sault Ste. Marie
The 2021 Canadian Senior Curling Championships in Sault Ste. Marie is still a go. However, in the face of a rapidly climbing COVID-19 case count, some events connected with the curling tournament have been cancelled.
Curlers from across Canada are set to descend on the Community First Curling Centre in Sault Ste. Marie this weekend. However, event chair Al Harnden said that under the direction of Algoma Public Health, the event has been pared down.
"Our opening social was to be held at the Bushplane (Heritage Centre) and our closing victory banquet was to be held at the Delta (Hotel), and both of those events have been cancelled, sadly," said Harnden.
"But, on the other side of this, we'll just focus on what we're really here for - and that's a great curling event."
He said the venue will be at 50 per cent capacity and staff will be ensuring public health restrictions are followed.
"Families can sit together, single people will be by themselves somewhere else, chairs are apart, tables are six feet apart," Harnden said.
"Bleachers, we have areas where we can have people can sit and other areas where they can't."
Tom McLean, president of the Soo Curlers Association, said every effort will be made to ensure a safe environment for curlers and spectators.
"We've brought in lots of extra sanitizing equipment, we've brought in some extra staff to make sure our high-touch surfaces are cleaned regularly," said McLean.
"(There will be) two stations to make sure that for contact tracing, we know who's coming in and out of the building."
Despite the cancelling of some activities, Harnden said he still anticipates a great curling event.
"We're just looking forward to having some of the world's best senior curlers in our city," he said. "We're going to run the best event possible. We're determined to do that."
Spectators will be required to show proof of vaccination and provide contact information for tracing purposes. The first draw of the 2021 Senior Curling Championship goes Monday morning.