Keeping it clean!
JAAA launches sanitisation programme in response to COVID-19Thursday, May 06, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
O f all the 'new normals' that are seen in the Jamaican track and field season is the ubiquitous presence of a crew of 'sanitisation technicians' whose numbers rival the track and field officials.
With the ease with which the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from one person to the next, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) established a set of strict protocols in accordance with World Athletics under which track and field meets could be allowed to go ahead by the Government and their agencies, including the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
Armed with state-of-the-art sanitisation equipment and wearing branded vests with the name of the company JACDEN, the crew members are every where, sanitising all the areas that have been touched as soon as the track or the area is cleared.
Despite stops and starts in the local season, nearly 30 track meets put on by the JAAA and MVP track Club, plus and all four regional championships, were held with the last one, the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Championships, being completed on Thursday, setting the scene for next week's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championship which will return after being cancelled last year.
Additionally, the seniors will continue their preparations for the Olympic Games Trials set for June and their meets will also received the same attention.
Earlier this year JACDEN, which is based in Kingston, signed a four-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the JAAA to provide the services without which no track and field meet could be held in the island, according to the very strict protocols under which the events can only be held.
Each starting block that is used in a race, each relay baton that is handled by an athlete, the bed of the high jump area and even the sand in the pits for the long and triple jumps must be sanitised after each race or jump, according to the protocols that were established by World Athletics last year.
According to the MOU, which was signed on March 16, each party will have their set responsibilties with the aim “to establish the terms and conditions under which JACDEN will provide sanitisation services at the indoor and outdoors track and field competitions and events.”
“The JAAA has a responsibility that the competition venues and equipment meets the technical specifications mandated by national and international rules.”
The MOU, which the Jamaica Observer was shown a copy, said: “Both parties are desirous of collaborating with a view to keeping the activity points and high touch surfaces of the buildings and facilities being directly used to conduct the track and field meets sanitised with a further view to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading at track and field meets.”
The service does not come cheaply, however, and the cost can range from between $250,000 a day for small meets with up to 200 persons to nearly a million dollars a day for meets with between 800 and 1000 persons
If the meet is held outside of the Kingston and St Andrew Metropolitan area then according to the MOU, another 14 per cent will be added to the cost.
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