Letter of Instruction for Sports Facilities
Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, issued Instructions to owners/operators of facilities where organized sports are played and/or practiced.
Effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, October 1, 2021, the Instructions to persons responsible for facilities where organized sports are played and/or practiced:
- Require each person age 12 years and older at the point of entry who attends the indoor area of 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
- Require compliance with all other requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act and its regulations that apply to the facility
Protecting the health and well-being of our communities remain York Region’s number one priority as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Letter of Instruction has been issued in response to current data and modelling which:
- Projects York Region could see up to 430 cases of COVID-19 per day by December 2021
- Projects up to 44 hospitalizations of those under the age of 19 by December 31, 2021
- Suggests that of the 10 outbreaks related specifically to basketball tournaments or events from Saturday, February 20, 2021 to Tuesday, September 20, 2021, one in five cases were linked to York Region and two thirds of these outbreaks occurred in individuals under the age of 18
- Indicates over the most recent week, the rate of infection among unvaccinated individuals 12 years of age or older was 137.1 cases per 100,000 population, significantly higher than those who are fully vaccinated (14.5/100,000)
- Indicates almost all COVID-19 related deaths and hospitalizations in York Region have occurred in individuals who were not vaccinated or partially vaccinated
Activities related to organized sports have the potential to enhance COVID-19 transmission. Close contact, forceful exhalation, prolonged exposure, crowded indoor spaces and masks and face coverings removed during physical activity contribute to enhanced likelihood of COVID-19 transmission.
Requiring more groups to be protected with COVID-19 vaccinations will help reduce this risk while maintaining opportunities for sport.
With 75% of York Region youth aged 12 to 17 fully vaccinated and 82% having already received a first dose, the impact of this added layer of protection is expected to be minimal.
York Region Public Health continues to encourage everyone over the age of 12 (born in 2009 or earlier) to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
Since approved by Health Canada, COVID-19 vaccinations have been made readily available to York Region residents, with eligibility expanded to youth age 12 and older as of May 23, 2021. Eligibility was further expanded to youth born 2009 or earlier on August 18, 2021.
York Region will spend the next several weeks focused on communication and education related to this Letter of Instruction, with escalated measures, including enforcement, to follow.
Residents are reminded that facility owners and operators are required to request proof of vaccination as part of the provincial vaccine certificate program; please demonstrate kindness and cooperation when asked for proof of vaccination.
Thank you for your ongoing support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect the health of York Region residents. It is through our collective efforts we will keep our communities safe.
For more information on upcoming walk-in mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics, please visit york.ca/COVID19Vaccine