Full Vaccination Needed for Anyone 12 and Older to Enter Indoor City Recreation Facilities and Community Centres

The City of Windsor is reminding residents that the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is requiring anyone 12 years of age or older to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination as well as valid identification (ID) prior to entering any indoor City recreation facility or community centre starting October 1, 2021.

The health unit’s latest order supersedes the previous City of Windsor plans for vaccinations related to indoor recreation attendance, and department staff have notified participants and leagues accordingly.

If you do not have a copy of your proof of vaccination, you can visit the Ontario Health COVID-19 website to download it.

Acceptable proof of vaccination includes an Ontario receipt issued at the time of vaccination, any format of receipt downloaded or a screenshot from Ontario.ca that shows the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider, a receipt or confirmation from another jurisdiction (e.g. USA) that shows the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or a QR code provided by the Province of Ontario for the purposes of verifying vaccination status once available. Facility staff will also accept vaccine documents provided at the time of vaccination or an emailed printout as long as the document or printout shows second vaccination. Proof of valid ID is also required and can be confirmed by presenting a birth certificate, citizenship card, driver’s licence; government (Ontario or other) issued identification including health card, Indian Status Card/Indigenous Membership Card, passport, or Permanent Resident card. Proof of identity must include the name of the identification holder and date of birth.

The date of administration of the final shot in the vaccine series must be at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date the participant is seeking access to the facility.

Full Release from WECHU:

Monday, September 27, 2021 - 4:30 p.m. - Windsor-Essex County

With the provincial vaccine verification system now in effect, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is enhancing these measures in all indoor recreational and fitness facilities to include those 12-17 years old.

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Windsor-Essex has been significant. The region saw a rapid rise in case rates in August of 2021, and continues to have one of the highest rates of cases of COVID-19 along with one of the highest test positivity rates in the province. Given the lack of distancing, prolonged contact, and heavy breathing associated with organized sports and high intensity fitness and recreation, participants are at greater risk for COVID-19 transmission, particularly when these activities take place indoors.

In Windsor-Essex, vaccination coverage rates are lower than the provincial average for those aged 12-17. With the number of cases in schools increasing, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai has put in place a Letter of Instruction to protect young people and reduce the potential for community spread of COVID-19. The Letter of Instruction removes the exemption offered under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act that allows those 12-17 years old to participate in organized sport or recreation without the need to present proof of vaccination. According to Dr. Nesathurai, “By requiring and verifying proof of vaccination for all people 12 years of age and older accessing these types of indoor facilities, we will greatly reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and improve protection from COVID-19, limiting its spread amongst young people and their families in Windsor-Essex.”

The Letter of Instruction has been shared with all municipalities operating recreation facilities and will come into effect on October 1st. The full version of the letter is available on the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website at: www.wechu.org/letter-instruction-sports.

For vaccination location information, visit WEVax.ca and don’t forget to register at WEVaxToWin.ca where being fully vaccinated could win you a great prize.