COVID-19: OHL requires nearly everyone involved in the game to be vaccinated

The Ontario Hockey League has released its COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires nearly everyone connected to the game to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the start of the 2021-22 season.

“This policy applies to all OHL community members, which includes individuals who attend training camp, practices, games or play in the OHL,” the league said.

“And specifically includes all players, coaches, trainers, team and league staff, officials, volunteers, and billet families.”

The policy states that billet family members under the permitted age for a vaccine are excluded.

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The OHL said each individual is also required to present evidence to the league that shows they are fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the start of training camp or the date that person begins their role with the league.

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For those who do not show evidence that they are fully vaccinated, the OHL will remove them from their role “for the duration of the pandemic or until such a time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk.”

The OHL said the purpose of the policy is to protect the health and safety of all its community members by reducing the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19.

“This policy is necessary to prevent, respond to, and alleviate the outbreak of COVID-19 in the OHL because of the significant risk factors for COVID-19 infection that are present while participating in an organized hockey league as a player and non-player, both on and off the ice,” the OHL said.

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The OHL said it would take a few things into consideration if someone is not vaccinated. This includes vaccine availability, any reason for not being vaccinated and documents to prove a medical or protected ground reason for not being vaccinated.

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The league said it would also comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code or applicable state and U.S. federal legislation and provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship to anyone who is unable to be vaccinated.

“The OHL will work with an independent medical advisor appointed by the commissioner to assist with accommodation issues,” the league said.

Players are scheduled to report to training camp on Sept. 4 before a conventional 68-game regular season beginning on Oct. 7.

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