- Adolescents in Manitoba aged 12 to 17 must show documentation of at least one vaccine or a recent negative COVID-19 test.
- Jennifer Kingsley, vice president of the Winnipeg Ringette League, spoke with CTV News Winnipeg in November.
To participate in indoor recreational sports, Manitoba adolescents aged 12 to 17 will need to show proof of at least one vaccination or present a recent negative COVID-19 test, the province stated last month.
According to the province, negative tests must come from participating pharmacies, not publicly sponsored testing locations, and unvaccinated youth must acquire the test within 72 hours of joining.
Modeling suggests that case counts are increasing most rapidly among youth aged 0 to 19. The province said this triggered the new guidelines.
Hockey is one of Manitoba’s most popular winter activities, and executive director Peter Woods of Hockey Manitoba said the health directive was expected as case numbers continued to grow.
“Perhaps sports was living on borrowed time,” Woods speculated, “and it could’ve certainly been introduced earlier in the year as they’ve done with several other things.”
According to Woods, the facilities hosting the games will be responsible for screening for proof of vaccination. However, there are still some issues about what a negative test looks like if tests vary by location and what form of identification can be presented.
“They’ve highlighted some of the things you can supply, such as a health card, a web view, or other government documents,” he added. “However, a lot of 12-year-olds and up may not have that information.”
Woods said there are still some issues to be resolved, and they’ve had a lot of queries from members in the month coming up to the implementation of the new rules.
Some sports leagues have taken it upon themselves to mandate immunization for children aged 12 to 17 years old from the outset.
Jennifer Kingsley, vice president of the Winnipeg Ringette League, spoke with CTV News Winnipeg in November. She said that the league-mandated vaccinations at the start of the season, months ahead of the province’s standards.
“We’re willing to stand there and say that everyone’s health is more essential than a few minor issues for us to (implement) it,” Kingsley said.
The new guidelines, according to Woods, are another step toward ensuring everyone’s safety.
“Every time that virus has an opportunity to spread, it has the potential to mutate, and if it does, the present immunizations will no longer protect us, and we’ll have to start all over again…one that’s of the main reasons why people should look into it,” Woods added.
In return to the play area of Hockey Manitoba’s website, there are periodic updates regarding health mandates.
Source: CTV News
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