Written by Dr. Andrew Smith and shared with MoPac as a courtesy.

R0, pronounced “R naught,” is a mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is. It’s also referred to as the reproduction number. As an infection is transmitted to new people, it reproduces itself.

R0 tells you the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease. It specifically applies to a population of people who were previously free of infection and haven’t been vaccinated.

For example, if a disease has an R0 of 18, a person who has the disease will transmit it to an average of 18 other people. That replication will continue if no one has been vaccinated against the disease or is already immune to it in their community.

A more recent estimate of the R0 for COVID-19 is 5.7. In addition to being highly infectious, COVID-19 can persist on surfaces for prolonged periods of time. For comparison, the R0 for seasonal influenza is estimated to be 1.2-1.3, for whooping cough 5.5, and for measles 12-18.

Current general CDC guidelines continue to recommend:

1.     Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
2.     Outside of the home stay at lease 6’ from other people.
3.     Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.
4.     Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces using soap and water for cleaning dirty surfaces and an EPA-registered household disinfectant.

Utah has moved much of the state to a “yellow” or “low risk” level. Current guidelines for Utah for fitness centers and gyms include:

1.     Maintain social distancing when in public settings.
2.     Face coverings worn in settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
3.     Do not shake hands.
4.     Symptom check of participants prior to each competition or practice. Symptoms include fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, cough, trouble breathing, sore throat, sudden change in taste or smell, muscle aches or pains
5.     Patrons of different households must maintain 10 feet of distance at all times (limit the number of patrons, space or close off equipment accordingly).
6.     Make chemical disinfectant supplies available throughout the establishment and post signs encouraging patrons to thoroughly disinfect equipment after use.
7.     Require employees to self-quarantine when returning from high-risk areas.
8.     Employees must go through symptom checking before every shift, including temperature. Log must be kept and available for inspection by health department

My interpretation of these guidelines as they apply to curling include:

1.     Wear masks during check in until participants are on the ice.
2.     Verbal symptom checking of each participant prior to the start of curling.
3.     Do not shake hands.
4.     Maintain 10 feet of distance at all times. This may necessitate doubles curling only. We may have to use every other sheet.
5.     For learn to curl, only single households on one sheet. Instructor will need to wear a mask or maintain 10 feet of distance at all times. We may have to use every other sheet.
6.     Have each person use hand sanitizer upon entering the rink. 
7.     If a participant sneezes or coughs, they should use hand sanitizer again.
8.     Disinfect each stone handle, stabilizer, and broom prior to the start of curling.
9.     No sharing of brooms or stabilizers. Only touch and throw the same numbers stones throughout the night.
10.  At the end of the night, disinfect each stone handle, stabilizer, and broom. Have every person use hand sanitizer who is helping put equipment away. Then put all equipment away.
11.  If an instructor travels out of state to a high-risk area, they should not teach for 14 days.
12.  Instructors must go through a symptom check with temperature prior to teaching.