All residents 12 and older entering recreation facilities must now be fully vaccinated

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

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 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.

Dr. Nesathurai says, by requiring and verifying proof of vaccination for all people 12 years of age and older accessing these types of indoor facilities, they will greatly reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 while improving protection and limiting its spread amongst young people and their families.

The letter has been shared with all municipalities operating recreation facilities and will come into effect on October 1.

In Windsor-Essex, vaccination coverage rates are lower than the provincial average for those between the ages of 12 and 17.