March 27 – B.C. virus growth rate “positively impacted” by public health measures
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry deputy minister of health Stephen Brown provided an update on Thursday. It was reported that the daily growth rate in cases I being “positively impacted” by public health measures such as physical distancing. Henry also cautioned that “we are not out of the woods by any means yet.”
March 27 – Nash leads first team workout, takes over Whitecaps FC Instagram
Whitecaps FC co-owner Steve Nash co-led the first team at-home fitness session alongside head of physical preparation Jon Poli over video conference this morning. Nash, a two-time NBA MVP, also took over the Whitecaps FC Instagram account live throughout the workout.
March 27 – BMO take measures to support customers and staff
During this difficult time, BMO has taken a number of measures to support their customers and staff. Among their initiatives are flexible customer relief programs to navigate financial challenges, support for seniors and vulnerable groups, and helping employees who need to work at work.
March 27 – CTV catches up with Vanni Sartini and his family
CTV checked in with assistant coach Vanni Sartini to see how he and his family in Italy are doing: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1929712
March 26 – Help us recognize healthcare and frontline workers
If you know a healthcare or frontline worker in our community who deserves some love, let us know. Send in your nominations to whitecapsfc.com/frontlineheroes.
March 26 – Payworks provides resource to businesses for Temporary Wage Subsidy
On March 18, 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency announced a Temporary Wage Subsidy in response to the challenges businesses across the country are facing in the wake of COVID-19. Payworks has provided a convenient Temporary Wage Subsidy Calculator for clients who are eligible.
March 26 – CEO Mark Pannes speaks with Sportsnet 650
Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Mark Pannes was on Sportsnet 650 with Dan Riccio and Josh Goldberg on Wednesday to discuss the latest with the club and league: https://www.sportsnet.ca/650/reach-deep/mark-pannes-discusses-whitecaps-dealt-covid-19
March 26 – Commissioner Don Garber speaks with ESPN FC
MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke with ESPN FC on the continued focus to play a full 34-match schedule: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/03/24/major-league-soccer-commissioner-don-garber-league-still-focused-playing-34-game
March 26 – Tos' joins in thanking frontline workers
Tosaint Ricketts took to his patio last night to join in thanking our frontline workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://twitter.com/TosaintRicketts/status/1243001861931597825?s=20
March 25 – Dr. Jim Bovard talks to Whitecaps FC MLS Academy and Girls Elite REX players
To ensure all members of the Whitecaps FC organization are briefed with the latest medical guidance, chief medical officer Dr. Jim Bovard presented online and answered questions for parents and players from the MLS Academy, Girls Elite REX, Pre-Academy, and Pre-Girls Elite programs.
March 25 – The Province and The Vancouver Sun provide COVID-19 daily updates via newsletter
The Province and The Vancouver Sun newspapers have launched a regular daily newsletter on COVID-19 to help keep people informed.
More information on the newsletter and how to sign up is available here: https://theprovince.com/news/local-news/covid-19-sign-up-to-receive-our-daily-newsletter-in-your-inbox/wcm/f888d927-e76b-4a0e-82e6-90ad3770a199
March 25 – Daily Hive offers free social advertising to local businesses
Daily Hive are doing their part to help small businesses in need. The organization is offering free social advertising to local businesses.
More here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B97jjXWpqET
March 25 – MLS training moratorium continues through April 3
Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, April 3. MLS training facilities remain closed to all players and staff with the exception of players requiring medical treatment or rehabilitation, under the direction of the team medical staff, that cannot be performed from the safety of their residence.
March 24 – Whitecaps FC provide update to media
Whitecaps FC chief medical officer Dr. Jim Bovard and chief executive officer Mark Pannes were on a media call this morning updating the club’s latest.
MLSsoccer.com posted a story on how the club is managing mental health: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/03/24/how-mls-teams-are-managing-players-mental-health-during-social-distancing.
March 24 – IOC agrees to postpone Olympics up to a year
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021: https://www.tsn.ca/ioc-agrees-to-postpone-olympics-up-to-a-year-1.1460025
March 24 – Whitecaps FC join forces with Doctors of BC to support #StayHome message
Whitecaps FC are joining forces with Doctors of BC to support the message to #StayHome.
March 23 – City of Vancouver approves new fines of up to $50,000 for not following physical distancing
Vancouver City Council have approved new fines of up to $50,000 for not following physical distancing protocols.
March 23 – City of Vancouver closes recreational areas, votes on new bylaws for fines
City Council is meeting on Monday to vote on new bylaws that will allow the city to fine business who do not comply with orders to close to the public. Park staff have also closed playing fields and courts, as well as parking lots at parks.
March 23 – Team Canada announces decision to be absent from the Olympic Games if held in 2020
Team Canada on Sunday evening asked the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that decision, Team Canada became the first National Olympic Committee to say that its athletes will not compete at Tokyo 2020 if the Games go ahead as scheduled.
March 22 - VWFC team physician Dr. Bovard provided a COVID-19 update
Earlier today, sporting director Axel Schuster and team physician Dr. Bovard provided a COVID-19 update with Q&A for all first team players. Dr. Bovard will provide a similar update to club employees this week.
March 22 - IOC sets deadline for Olympics postponement decision
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set a mid-April deadline for a decision regarding potential postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Summer Games are currently scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9: https://www.tsn.ca/ioc-sets-deadline-for-olympics-postponement-decision-1.1459607
March 22 – Doctors urge public to follow protocols to stay home
CTV reported on a message from local doctors urging the public stay home and follow public health protocols to help stop the spread of COVID-19: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.4863154
March 21 – Provincial government provides latest update on COVID-19
The provincial government provided the latest update on COVID-19 at a briefing on Saturday afternoon: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0101-000538
The government also provided a breakdown of the virus distribution by date and age: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Epidemic_Curve_Age_Distribution_March_20_2020.pdf
March 21 – MLS targets May 10 return date
In accordance with CDC recommendations, MLS announced earlier this week that the league would target a May 10 return to match play.
March 21 – Member of BC Lions football operations department tests positive for COVID-19
The BC Lions Football Club was alerted on Friday evening that a member of the club’s football operations department tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The employee was last at club headquarters on Friday, March 13 and is currently in isolation at home.
March 20 – MLS extends team training moratorium
Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, March 27. During this time, MLS players are expected to remain in each club’s respective market and have been advised to exercise safe physical distancing measures
March 20 – City of Vancouver orders restaurants and playgrounds to close
Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced on Friday that all restaurants in Vancouver must close unless they can provide takeout and delivery options. All 166 playgrounds in Vancouver will also be closing in order to minimize public gatherings. CTV has more information here: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/vancouver-orders-all-restaurant-table-service-to-shut-down-closes-playgrounds-1.4861836
March 20 – LAFC mourn the passing of 34-year-old supporter due to COVID-19
Please join in sending our best wishes to the family of a 34-year-old LAFC supporter who passed due to complications from COVID-19: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/03/20/lafc-mourn-loss-34-year-old-supporter-jeff-ghazarian-after-battle-against-covid-19
March 19 – BC Soccer provides update on operations and logistics
BC Soccer have provided an operations and logistics update: https://bcsoccer.net/news/post/bc-soccer-operations-and-logistics-update-march-19
March 19 – NYCFC confirm COVID-19 case in club’s sporting department
MLS side New York City FC announced on Thursday that a member of the club’s sporting department had tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is said by the club to be feeling well after exhibiting mild symptoms and is currently observing appropriate isolation protocols. More here: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/03/19/nycfc-confirm-first-case-covid-19-clubs-sporting-department
March 19 – RSL make donation to local food bank
The RSL Foundation will be making a donation to their local food bank with food intended for Real Salt Lake matches that have since been postponed. More here: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/03/19/rsl-foundation-makes-donation-utah-food-bank-help-those-impacted-covid-19
March 19 – Whitecaps FC statement on the extension of the suspension of MLS matches
We fully support the decision announced today by MLS to extend the suspension of matches in accordance with public health recommendations . The most important priority is, and always will be, the health and safety of our players, staff, supporters, partners, and the public. We will continue to work with the league to get back on the pitch as soon as it is safe to do so. We greatly appreciate the support and patience of our fans. We are all in this together and we will get through this, stronger as a community.
March 19 – MLS extends the suspension of all matches
Major League Soccer announced on Thursday that it was extending the suspension of all matches, with a target return date of May 10. The extension was made in accordance with Sunday's guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cancel all mass gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. The league said it remains intent on completing the full 2020 season schedule.
March 18 – Pannes and Schuster speak on TSN soccer show
Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Mark Pannes and sporting director Axel Schuster spoke as part of a COVID-19 soccer special on TSN.
March 18 – British Columbia declares state of emergency
Following the provincial government’s declaration of a public health emergency on Tuesday, public safety minister Mike Farnworth declared a state of emergency on Wednesday. CTV has posted more information here: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-declares-provincial-state-of-emergency-over-covid-19-pandemic-1.4858343
March 18 – Canadian government announces $82B in direct aid
The Canadian government announced on Wednesday that it is prepared to spend a combined $82 billion on direct financial help and economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 crisis. More here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-u-s-border-closing-82b-in-direct-aid-and-stimulus-coming-trudeau-1.4857881
March 18 – Sounders FC staff member recovering and in good spirits
The Seattle Sounders FC staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 is feeling better and on the road to recovery, according to general manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerway. More here: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/03/18/garth-lagerwey-seattle-sounders-staffer-covid-19-recovering-good-spirits
March 17 – British Columbia declares public health emergency
British Columbia declared a public health emergency on Tuesday following recent developments related to COVID-19. CTV has posted initial information from the press conference here: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/health-emergency-declared-in-b-c-following-3-more-covid-deaths-83-new-cases-1.4857078
March 17 – International tournaments moved to 2021
March 16 – Whitecaps FC Official Store closed until further notice
As part of the club’s wider response to COVID-19, the Official Whitecaps FC Store in Gastown will be closed until further notice. The online store remains available at whitecapsfc.com/shop.
March 16 – BC creates dedicated COVID-19 phone service
BC has created a dedicated phone service for non-medical information about COVID-19 (including travel, physical distancing, other supports). This will allow health care workers on 811 to support more people with symptoms or with other health issues. 1-888-COVID19 is open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT.
March 16 – Canada closes border to non-Canadian, U.S. citizens
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that the border would be closed to non-Canadian citizens, with certain exemptions including U.S. citizens. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed into the country. CTV has posted some of the initial updates: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus.
March 16 – Whitecaps FC NSDC remains closed
While the Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre remains closed this week, cleaning staff have been continuing to disinfect the facility.
For more information and health guidelines on COVID-19, go to https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
March 15 – MLS extends team training moratorium through Friday, March 20
Major League Soccer announced on Sunday that the league has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, March 20. MLS players are expected to remain in each club’s respective market, and have been advised to exercise safe physical distancing measures.
MLS is working with public health authorities, in collaboration with the MLS clubs, the MLS Players Association, and in consultation with the other North American professional sports leagues to finalize a protocol that would permit players to access training facilities for rehab or individual training under safe conditions during the team training moratorium.
March 15 – MLS commissioner Don Garber shares message with supporters
MLS Commissioner Don Garber shared a message with supporters in the wake of the league suspending matches for 30 days as it assesses the impact of COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Read the letter HERE.
For more information and health guidelines on COVID-19, go to https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
March 14 – MLS provides essential information for fans
As MLS suspends match play for 30 days to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the league has provided essential information for fans, reiterating a commitment to honour tickets for all rescheduled matches:
All tickets for postponed games will be honoured when they are played later in the season. If you already have a ticket to a match, that existing ticket will grant admission to the rescheduled contest and no further action is needed. For any other questions or further information, fans should contact their club's customer service department.
March 14 – Whitecaps FC donate meals to the Vancouver Food Bank
With Saturday’s match versus Colorado Rapids postponed, Whitecaps FC team staff have arranged with the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel to donate the planned team meals to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Ed Georgica, head of first team operations and facilities, was featured in a MLSsoccer.com article about the club’s donation.
March 14 - Schuster discusses club's contingency plans
The Province published an article featuring Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster speaking on the club’s contingency plans.
March 13 – Canada Soccer announces suspension of all sanctioned soccer
Canada Soccer has suspended all sanctioned soccer activities with immediate effect after consultation with the Canada Soccer Sport Medicine Committee, public health authorities and the Provincial and Territorial Member Associations. The Canada Soccer decision impacts all domestic soccer activity as well as National Teams across all age groups with the decision crucial to ensure the safety of our players, coaches, officials, staff and fans.
March 13 – FIFA changes call-up policy for international window
In light of the current situation concerning the Coronavirus, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided that the general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the up-coming international windows in March/April.
To avoid any unnecessary health risks and also situations of potential sporting unfairness, we therefore recommend that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment, both for players and for the general public. The final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies.
March 13 – Concacaf suspends all competitions for 30 days
The confederation announced on Friday that all Concacaf competitions have been suspended for the next 30 days. This includes:
- 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifiers
- 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League
- First Round of the Concacaf 2021 Gold Cup Qualifiers (due to be played in the March 2020 FIFA Window)
- 2020 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield
March 13 – Whitecaps FC implement remote working policy
In alignment with MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be implementing a remote working policy for staff starting on March 16 in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The club’s Front Office will remain open during normal business hours.
March 13 – MLS institutes training moratorium
MLS instituted a team training moratorium for all of its clubs beginning on Friday, March 13 and running through Sunday, March 15 as the league continues to review training protocols to ensure a safe environment for players and staff in the wake of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
March 13 – Canada Soccer cancels upcoming international friendly matches
With the best interest of the safety of players, coaches, officials, staff, and fans, Canada Soccer has canceled upcoming home international matches in British Columbia on the FIFA calendar. The three affected matches are 27 and 31 March on Vancouver Island at Westhills Stadium and 14 April in Vancouver at BC Place.
March 13 – BC Soccer Premier League cancels March 14-15 matches
The league made the following statement on Friday:
Following consultation with our clubs, and BC Soccer, all BCSPL games scheduled for March 14-15 have been cancelled. We're in communication with all stakeholders on a daily basis to monitor and assess the current health situation as it relates to future BCSPL play.
March 12 – BC Soccer amends protocols
BC Soccer is advising all members and affiliated clubs to not proceed with sanctioned soccer activity where there will be 250 or more people in attendance.
March 12 – BC Place makes statement
BC Place made the following statement on Thursday:
The health and safety of our community is our top priority. Following the Province of British Columbia’s directive to temporarily cancel mass gatherings (250 people or more) during the COVID-19 outbreak, major events scheduled for the immediate future at BC Place will not proceed until further notice. The situation is evolving quickly and we are working diligently with our event partners to confirm any information that we can share. Guests are encouraged to keep their tickets until further information becomes available. Thank you for your continued support!
March 12 – Provincial government provides update
In response to the latest developments with COVID-19, the provincial government announced on Thursday that they are directing event organizers to cancel any events or gathering larger than 250 people.
The government is also recommending against any non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States.
March 12 – MLS first team training
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC first team will have three days off and are scheduled to resume training at the Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre on Monday, March 16.
March 12 – All Whitecaps FC youth programs suspended through the end of March
Given the latest information and current situation across the country, and in the best interests of our players, families, officials, and staff, Whitecaps FC have made the decision to suspend all youth programs through the end of March.
- Development Squad, MLS Academy, including the GA Cup, and Girls Elite REX training
- National Whitecaps FC BMO Academy Centre training
- Spring Skills Camps from March 16-27 have been cancelled
- The Academy Centre Combine from March 15-19 has been postponed to November 1 to 5
- The adidas Cup from April 4-5 has been postponed. We are actively working on new dates and will reach out once confirmed
E-mail communication is being sent to all players, parents, and participants. If you have any questions, please contact the club or e-mail email@example.com.
March 12 – MLS suspends season for 30 days
Vancouver Whitecaps FC supports Major League Soccer’s suspension of matches for 30 days due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
The health and safety of our supporters, fans, players, and staff is our top priority. We will continue to follow the guidance of health authorities and MLS to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to protect our community. We appreciate the understanding and patience of our supporters and fans at this unprecedented time.
All tickets will be honoured for rescheduled dates. Additional communication will be sent to ticket holders as soon as possible.
For more information and regular updates, please check back daily at whitecapsfc.com.
March 10 – eMLS Cup postponed
MLS announced on Tuesday that eMLS Cup, which was scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas on March 21, has been postponed. eMLS Cup was set to be a part of the South by Southwest festival before it was canceled amid concerns surrounding the spread of coronvavirus (COVID-19).
I have a ticket to a postponed home match. What should I do now?
Your existing ticket will grant you admission to the rescheduled match. We will communicate new dates as soon as they are confirmed.
What if I have transferred my tickets for a match?
If you have transferred your tickets, the recipient of those ticket will maintain them for entry to the rescheduled match.
What about home matches beyond the target return date?
At this time, MLS have suspended the season with a target return date of May 10. Should further adjustments to our schedule be needed we will communicate them as soon as they are confirmed.
What are the public health recommendations regarding COVID-19?
The BCCDC recommends everyday precautionary actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Follow BCCDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- BCCDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).