RHRA COVID Vaccination Policy

Oct. 24, 2021

Policy Statement:

As a condition of participating in RHRA ringette activities, the following policy has been established requiring the following persons who are currently eligible (born 2009 or earlier), to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021:

  • Players
  • Team officials (coaches, trainers, managers)
  • Volunteers serving in any other capacity
  • Game officials (referees, timekeepers)

All the above persons must present to RHRA evidence of demonstrating that they have received the completed series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine by November 1, 2021, or earlier.

RHRA will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship to any person who is unable to be vaccinated for substantial medical reasons.

Any person who has not been granted an accommodation and who has not completed their series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine by November 1, 2021, or who has not disclosed their vaccination status by that date, will no longer be eligible to participate in any RHRA activities until such time that they present satisfactory evidence that they are fully vaccinated.

At the present time, the policy does not apply to players born in 2010 or later, however the policy will be amended in accordance with York Region Public Health amendments to applicable age groups for vaccination eligibility.

This policy currently does not apply to spectators.

Reasons for this Policy:

The health and safety of all participants is the guiding principle for this policy.  The purpose of this policy is to protect health and safety of all participants by reducing the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19.

There are significant risk factors for COVID-19 when participating in organized sports, in particular an indoor ice rink setting where players are unmasked and engaging in active play. These risk factors include close contact in predominantly indoor closed space environments (ice surface, benches, dressing rooms, etc.).

Vaccination Requirement:

All persons are required to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021.  All persons must present to RHRA evidence that they have received the completed series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine by November 1, 2021.

Acceptable Documentation:

RHRA will accept the following as evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination:

  • A digital or physical Dose Administration Receipt
  • A COVID-19 digital vaccine passport, once available

Medical Exemptions:

RHRA will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship to any person who is unable to be vaccinated for substantial medical reasons.

If a person cannot provide the RHRA with satisfactory evidence of vaccination, the following may be taken into consideration by the RHRA:

  • The persons reason for not being vaccinated; and
  • Documentation to substantiate a medical reason for not being vaccinated

Written medical exemptions must include the following:

  • First and last name of the person with the medical exemption
  • The physician or registered nurse’s information including:
    • Name and contact information of the physician or registered nurse
    • Logo or letterhead identifying the physician or registered nurse
    • Statement of the medical reason for the individual’s exemption
    • Effective time period for the medical exemption

RHRA reserves the right to have medical documentation reviewed by applicable medical specialists and make appropriate inquiries to verify the authenticity of same.

Any person who is granted this accommodation must undergo regular COVID-19 testing and confirmation to the RHRA, of a negative test taken not more than 72 hours prior to each RHRA activity (practices, games, dryland, etc.).  Both PCR and Antigen tests will be accepted.  Testing is at the affected persons own expense.

Further, any player with a valid medical exemption to Covid-19 vaccination may only play with one RHRA team/cohort of players and will not be able to assist or play with other teams/age groups.

The medical exemptions provided by the Ontario Government can be found here:  Medical Exemption Guidance (gov.on.ca)

Statement of Medical Exemption can be found here:  COVID-19 Sample Medical Exemption Template (gov.on.ca)

Validity of Documentation or Testing:

Should the RHRA become aware of the falsification of documentation or testing results, the person will be immediately suspended and ineligible to join RHRA organized activities for the remainder of the applicable season.

Record Keeping:

The RHRA will avoid collecting vaccination records and documentation where possible to protect the person information of the participants. Should there be any reason to collect documentation pertaining to COVID-19 vaccinations and medical accommodations, it will only be collected, used, retained by the RHRA as may be necessary for legitimate operational purposes or as directed or required by governmental authorities or as may be required for legal reasons.

Until these records are no longer required, records must be held in a secure location.  Once a person’s vaccination or exemption status has been verified by the RHRA and is determined that there is no need for retention, they must be immediately destroyed.

Players Born in 2010 or Later:

At the present time, there are no vaccines approved by Health Canada for this cohort.  However, once a vaccine has been approved, the RHRA will consider how this policy will be extended to these players in those birth years.

Until players within this cohort become eligible and complete their full vaccination, they will be required to wear a mask at all times in the facility, including during on-ice activity.

Further, any player/coach who assists with this group of players must also wear a mask at all times during on-ice activity as well as on the bench.

Amendments to this Policy:

RHRA may amend this policy from time to time, based on updated provisions and recommendations/regulations by the York Region Public Health Unit, Ontario Government, City of Richmond Hill, Ringette Ontario, or changes to the state of the pandemic and risk levels for the participants.

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