Dr. Guan: proof of vaccination required for officials of indoor organized sports

Dr. Hugh Guan, Acting Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health issued a Letter of Instruction on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, stating that volunteers, coaches, and officials participating or associated with indoor organized sports and recreation activities will require proof of vaccination.

The letter is pursuant to Section 2 (2.1) of Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step and will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

Organized sports are defined as sports and recreation activities including, but not limited to, sports leagues, organized pick-up sports, dance classes, gymnastics, martial arts, and swimming classes, or as otherwise described in the Ministry of Health’s proof of vaccination guidance for businesses and organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020, Public Health said in a media release.

“Indoor sports and recreation activities have the potential to increase COVID-19 transmission especially when participants remove their mask during activity,” said Dr. Guan. “This letter of instruction adds another layer of protection to decrease any exposure to COVID-19 for volunteers, coaches, and officials who are in close and prolonged contact with participants.”

Indoor sports and recreation activities may facilitate all five risk factors for COVID-19 transmission which include: close contact, closed spaces, crowded places, prolonged exposure, and forceful exhalation, Public Health stated. The new provincial proof of vaccination requirements have exempted certain participants of organized sports, including volunteers, coaches and officials. Given that these individuals are necessary for the operation of organized sport and will have close and prolonged contact with participants, these instructions for proof of vaccination requirement will protect them and decrease risk of COVID-19 exposures in the community, according to the release.

The Letter of Instruction is effective as of 12:01 a.m. on October 5, 2021, and will remain in effect until such time as the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required. Public Health said individuals who do not comply with this Letter of Instruction may be liable for a fine up to a maximum of $100,000.

To learn more about COVID-19, how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk, visit kflaph.ca/Coronavirus or Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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