YMCA of Eastern Ontario implements vaccination policy

Image provided by the YMCA.

The YMCA of Eastern Ontario has announced they have put a new vaccination policy in place requiring all members, visitors and staff – with the exception of those who are medically exempt or not eligible – to be fully vaccinated to access their facilities and programs.

The charity announced their September 1 reopening date back in July, and have since been updating their safety protocols and re-hiring and retraining staff over the summer months.

According to a release from the YMCA, dated Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, individuals are now required to self-screen when entering Y facilities in Kingston or Brockville. The screening questionnaire includes a declaration of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. For anyone not vaccinated or who is exempt from vaccinations, weekly negative COVID tests are required until further notice, the YMCA stated. The declaration further requires individuals to be able to show proof of vaccination or test results, if requested.

“Since the outset of the pandemic, we have put safety first, and have gone above and beyond what has been recommended,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “We are doing our part to support the exemplary community efforts to increase vaccination rates to keep people safe and to mitigate infections. We believe that people in our communities expect this degree of conscientiousness from us.”

The vaccination policy has been developed locally with all due diligence and with support from the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, according to the release. It may be updated subject to federal, provincial and/or public health decisions or recommendations on COVID guidelines, vaccinations or booster shots.

“We reached out to our members in a survey and many expressed a desire for vaccinations to be required,” Adams said. “We know that everyone wants a return to the pre-pandemic ‘normal’ as soon as possible. Although we don’t yet know what a new normal looks like, expecting people to be vaccinated is an important step to get there faster.”

Currently, the Y’s COVID-19 protocols include: masking, safe distancing, sanitization, hand-washing hygiene, capacity limits, self-screening and a vaccination self-declaration. These are updated as the pandemic evolves, the Y said in the release.

To stay up-to-date with YMCA news, including, Covid protocol updates, please visit the news page of the YMCA website. A copy of the member and visitor vaccination policy can be found here.

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