Covid-19 Controls

These are amendments to the normal USPSA Match Policies at EHPSA to allow matches to be conducted with an ongoing risk of Covid-19 infection (January 22, 2021 update).

The infection rate for Covid-19 and its variants is much higher than it was in 2020. Looking back at 2020 data for Westmoreland County when we started running matches in May, there were less than 10 cases per day. That increased to about 60 cases per day when we held our last match in October. The cases per day peaked at about 650 in December and today it’s about 200 cases per day (3 to 20 times higher than last year). Many sources say cases will climb again in the spring. Although I feel a need to make and publish plans for the 2021 season, I suspect that we will not be hosting some of the scheduled matches this year.

Bare with me, I’m going on a bit of a rant. If the PA Department of Health expects people to adhere to the latest of their never-ending orders on Covid-19, they really need to post a “this is the latest” section. They’ve been issuing a steam of orders, updated orders, amended orders, and limited time orders for about a year and it’s impossible to know with any certainty what is in effect today. I’m assuming the Orders and Advisories section in the Fact Sheets (pa.gov) web page provides links to the the latest orders, but who knows since it currently lists a stay at home order that expired on January 4, 2021. For purposes of identifying match controls, I’m also assuming that the November 27, 2020 “Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation And Enforcement” is the latest. I struggled with this all of last year and just had to vent. End of Rant.

Facilities: The clubhouse will only be open for access to restrooms and match equipment. If needed, the indoor range will also be used for new competitor Safety Checks. Advance registration via Practiscore is encouraged. Squad size will be limited to 12. Match day registration (if squad openings are available), fee payment, and check-in will take place on the front porch of the club.

For an outdoor event, PA is controlling the number of people permitted in an area based on the square footage of the area. Bay 6 does not meet the square footage requirement for a squad; therefore, Bay 6 will not be used and matches will consist of only 5 stages.

Match Controls: The only control that will be exercised by EHPSA is to host a match or not. At this time, you should assume that the normal schedule of matches will take place. If a match is cancelled it will be publicized on our website (EHPSA.com) and our Facebook page (USPSA.at.EH). Any shooters that have already registered for a match via Practiscore will also be notified through Practiscore.

Participants and spectators are expected to comply with orders issued by Federal, State, and Local government bodies. A summary of those orders (at least what we think they are) is provided below.

Federal Controls: None.

Pennsylvania State Controls: The two primary Covid-19 controls required in Pennsylvania are social distancing and face coverings. This is a brief summary of requirements as they pertain to matches, use the links if you want to get into the details.

  • Social Distance (see the PA Order for details)- You are required to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other people that are not members of your household.
    The squad sizes for this match are 12 or less and all stages are outdoors.  There is ample room for everyone to social distance while participating in the match.  It will require a conscious effort and everyone attending the match is requested to make that effort.
  • Face Covering (see the PA Face Covering Order for details) – You are required to wear a face covering outdoors. There are many exceptions to this requirement that will ease the burden of compliance during the match.  The primary exceptions are listed below, but use of a face covering is judged to provide a benefit in controlling the spread of infection and their use is encouraged.
    • A “face covering” has been defined as anything that covers the nose and mouth (including a plastic face shield).
    • When outdoors, a face covering is only required when you are unable to consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet from people that are not a member of your household.  With a reasonable effort, the need to use a face covering can be avoided most of the time.
    • An individual who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or mental health condition, or a disability, are not required to do so.
    • If wearing a face covering would create an unsafe condition while executing a task, the individual is not required to do so.  Due to several potential safety issues, the shooter and RO are not required to wear a face covering.

Local Government Controls: None.

Roger Elder, Match DirectorEdit