York Region Denies Provincial Exemption to Mandate Vaccination of Youth Indoor Sports

Starting Friday, all indoor sports facilities must verify that people 12 years of age and older are fully vaccinated or have medical exemption.

Youth participating in organized indoor sports in York Region will need to be fully immunized as of October 1.

York Region Public Health is eliminating the provincial exemption for COVID-19 vaccine verification for indoor sports for players aged 12 and over.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Karim Kurji issued a letter of instruction on September 28 that will require organizations and individuals responsible for indoor sports facilities to verify that players aged 12 and over – as well as coaches , spectators and participants – have proof of vaccination or valid medical dispensation.

“Outbreaks in York Region have been identified in basketball, dance and other sporting environments. As more and more activities, including fitness and sports, move indoors during the colder months, these additional measures will help slow the spread of COVID-19, ”the region said in A press release.

Public notices have been released in recent weeks regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to basketball tournaments in Vaughan and Markham, with the public health unit expressing concern over the lack of information gathered by organizers to make it easier to find contacts.

The town of Newmarket has already taken a similar approach, requiring proof of vaccination for people 12 years of age and older to access its facilities without allowing the provincial exemption for organized sports. However, the York Region ordinance will apply to indoor sports at all facilities, including private facilities.

The letter also requires proof of full vaccination, replacing a grace period that the city had built into its rules, which were to apply only to young people from October 31.

Kurji said COVID-19 counts remain of concern, with the fourth wave upon us. He said organized spots have the potential to improve transmission of COVID-19.

“Specifically, close contact, forced exhalation, prolonged exposure, overcrowded indoor spaces, and masks and face covers removed during physical activity all help increase the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19,” said Kurji in his letter. “Verifying proof of vaccination for persons 12 years of age and over at the facilities mentioned above, in accordance with this letter of instruction, will strengthen protections for York Region communities by helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 . “

The letter also states that establishments must meet all other requirements under the Ontario Reopening Act. The directions are accompanied by enforceable fines of up to $ 100,000 for individuals or $ 10,000,000 per day for businesses for non-compliance.

“Thank you for your continued support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect the health of residents of York Region,” the region said in a press release. “It is through our collective efforts that we will keep our communities safe.”

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