In a letter sent to players and parents on July 15, 2021 by Ontario Hockey League Commissioner David Branch, the organization’s stance on vaccinations was made clear.
The OHL has chosen to implement a mandatory vaccination policy.
“Under this policy, we will require that players, along with all members of the OHL community, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide a proof of vaccination to the OHL, at least two weeks prior to the start of training camp,” states the letter signed by Branch.
The letter also directs individuals to the OHL website for further explanation of the new requirements. The website also explains the reasoning for the policy.
“The health and safety of all OHL Community Members is the top priority of the OHL,” says the site. “The purpose of this policy is to protect the health and safety of all OHL Community Members by reducing the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, an infectious communicable disease, among all persons involved in the OHL; and to promote the health and safety of all members of the OHL community, through vaccinations against COVID-19.”
The OHL also noted it will follow all regulations of the Ontario Human Rights Code and make some accommodations where required.
“The OHL will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) (or applicable State and US Federal legislation) and provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship to any OHL Community Member who is unable to be vaccinated for substantiated medical reasons and/or on grounds protected under the OHRC. The OHL will work with an independent medical advisor appointed by the Commissioner to assist with accommodation issues.”
According to Branch, the policy will allow players to get the hockey experience they deserve while protecting everyone involved. There is no word on how this will affect fans who want to attend games.
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