Vancouver Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Mark Pannes and chief medical officer Dr. Jim Bovard addressed the media on Tuesday via video conference, reinforcing the club's full support for Doctors of BC, as well as the federal, provincial, and municipal governments in urgently asking that all members of the public stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Pannes said that he realizes the club has a position of leadership in BC and that Whitecaps FC have the opportunity to help emphasize and amplify the public health messaging from Doctors of BC and the government.
“If we have that opportunity, we should take it. We’re trying to be as communicative as possible, always with a mantra that we do not have to be fast. Our emphasis is on accuracy,” said Pannes.
Bovard said that he has been working upwards with other CMOs around the league while getting directions through league CMO Dr. Margot Putukian.
“We are following all the guidelines as set out by the government and those change on a regular basis. As the situation changes, we just adapt to that. We have good channels of communications with the players so that I am made aware if anybody is ill so I can follow up on that,” said Bovard.
He added that players and staff have been doing their utmost in these challenging times to follow staying at home and physical distancing measures.
“It’s a key point to recognize that what we’re seeing today in terms of the disease burden from this reflects habits up to 14 days ago. There’s always a rolling timeline. What we institute today, we'll see how it impacts us in 14 days,” said Bovard.
“We’re just trying to pair the best practices we can with proper physical distancing, hygiene guidelines and we’ve been lucky to get a good result so far,” said Pannes.