News

Vaccination protocols in place for HarbourCats, NightOwls, Golden Tide

Staff, coaches, players, host families to require full immunization

For Immediate Release

August 11, 2021

VICTORIA, B.C. — The company that oversees the operations of two West Coast League teams, and a new CCBC team, are putting COVID-19 safety first with sweeping protocols around vaccinations.

As of September 1, 2021, all members of the organization are required to be vaccinated to maintain the privilege of being involved with the three baseball programs under the corporate umbrella.

“Because our programs reach into every corner of the communities in which we are fortunate enough to have baseball teams, this is the right thing to do at this time, while we all watch the continued developments with this pandemic,” said Managing Partner Jim Swanson, who is GM of the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls, and oversees the fall/spring collegiate Victoria Golden Tide team that is led by Head Coach Curtis Pelletier.

“It is a privilege to be part of our programs, and that carries a lot of responsibility and accountability. We are active in our office with staff and ownership, with spectators, with corporate sponsors, and with host families, along with many other areas our people are out in the community. Our programs travel — we take ferries, and cross borders — we cannot operate in a bubble, the programs are too complex. With nearly 5 billion people now immunized worldwide, our group believes the various vaccines are proven safe and effective for those over 12, and will be the way this pandemic gets put behind us, along with developing treatments and rapid testing.”

The programs will also have COVID-19 protocols in place in the case where someone tests positive, or there is contact with anyone within the sphere of activities. The programs will also stay well-informed on best practices, and will adjust this and any protocols as this world-wide situation evolves.

Currently, in B.C., 100% of those in ICU with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. “We think that speaks volumes to the importance of getting your shots,” said Swanson. “We don’t want to wade into waters that are outside of baseball, but it’s imperative that we do what’s right to keep people as safe as possible.”

The HarbourCats have seen two dark summers due to COVID-19, and the NightOwls had their WCL debut delayed a year. The Golden Tide, an expansion addition to the now-eight-team Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC), begins activities in September at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, the long-time home of the HarbourCats in the city’s Stadium District.

Any exceptions requested by members will be handled privately, and prudently, with that person — on grounds of medical or other legitimate reasons, said Swanson. “While we recognize the individual rights and freedoms of people, and celebrate those rights, we also have an overriding need to do all we can to ensure all our people, and those we come in contact with, have the utmost in safety considerations,” added Swanson.

The HarbourCats fully anticipate returning to a normal schedule in 2022, with full allotment of fans in attendance. It is undecided at this point if fans will be required to be vaccinated or show proof of vaccination to enter the stadium and the team will follow and monitor other sport event and public event protocols over the winter, before making such a decision.

Any further questions can be directed to Jim Swanson.

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