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Citing Dr. Kurji’s letter, Vaughan reiterates vaccination proof is needed at its sports facilities

It’s part of escalated measures, city says
Oct. 4, 2021
Dina Al-Shibeeb

Vaughan reiterated its stance Oct. 1 that those playing or practising organized sports must show identification and proof of being fully vaccinated, aged 12 and older, against COVID-19 following a letter sent by York Region Public Health’s top doctor, Dr. Karim Kurji two days before.

“This directive applies to anyone actively participating in organized sports; coaching, officiating at organized sports or volunteering; or spectating at organized sports,” the city said in its press release.

“In addition, all individuals visiting a recreational facility must comply with all other requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act and its regulations that apply to the facility.”

However, those who aren’t vaccinated due to a medical reason must show their valid medical exemption document.

Vaughan also said that it will “spend this month focused on communication and education related to York Region’s Letter of Instruction, with escalated measures, including enforcement, to follow.”

On Sept. 15, Vaughan already made an announcement saying that residents who want to use its facilities or plan to participate in the upcoming fall recreation programs must be fully vaccinated as of Sept. 22.

But lack of clarity ensued.

For example, the president of the City of Vaughan Hockey Association has previously told the Vaughan Citizen that players who are 12-years-old and older must be vaccinated by Oct. 17 if they want to participate in the Greater Toronto Hockey League programs (GTHL).

However, on Sept. 29, Kurji sent a letter of instruction for sports facilities requiring each person age 12 years and older to show proof effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1 to owners and operators of facilities where organized sports are played or practised.

This applies to those entering the facility for the purpose of (a) actively participating in organized sports, (b) coaching, officiating at organized sports or volunteering or (c) spectating at organized sports to provide identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or a valid medical exemption.

In the letter, Kurji said that York region’s youth -- aged 12 to 17 -- are already 75 per cent fully vaccinated and 82 per cent have already received the first dose. He wen on to say that the “impact of this added layer of protection is expected to be minimal.”