Cold weather sport: COVID-19 guidance

COVID-19 and cold weather spread

We still do not know if COVID-19 can spread more easily in cold air. It’s speculated that cool and dry conditions may increase the spread of COVID-19, while extremely cold or very hot and wet conditions may decrease the spread.

While temperature may affect the spread of COVID-19, other social factors play a larger role in how the disease is spread, such as:

  • population density;
  • physical distancing; and
  • isolation measures.

Regardless of the weather, to keep Yukoners safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 it’s important to always follow:

Disinfecting winter sports equipment

We do not know how long COVID-19 survives on surfaces. Research suggests it may live for a few hours, or up to several days depending on:

  • temperature;
  • type of surface; and
  • humidity of the environment.

Use any of Health Canada’s recommended hard-surface disinfectants on cold weather sports equipment between uses, such as:

  • skis;
  • boots (check cleaning procedures for specific materials);
  • poles;
  • snowshoes;
  • fat bikes;
  • helmets.

A product such as Lysol disinfecting spray (aerosol) or a wipe could be used on equipment. After you disinfect the equipment let it air-dry naturally.  

Or, if you do not want to disinfect the equipment, you can store it in a well-ventilated area for 72 hours.

For further information on cleaning and disinfecting, please refer to Yukon’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your workplace and cleaning and disinfecting your home. And remember, when in doubt use common sense and follow the Safe 6 plus wear a mask.

Organized sport activities

There is an increased risk of COVID-19 spread while playing team sports. Consider limiting organized sport activities that do not allow players to be at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart.

Vaccination is the best way for anyone eligible (or anyone 12+) to participate in sports.

In addition, following these measures will help reduce the risk of spread when playing a team sport:

  • stay home if you’re feeling sick, even if your symptoms are mild;
  • limit contact with other players, meaning no huddles and no high fives;
  • do not share any equipment or items such as water bottles; and
  • keep 2 metres (6 feet) away from others when not playing.

Organizers should screen all players upon arrival and discourage spectators if possible. Spectators and players should not gather before, during or after a game.