COVID-19 screening to begin next week at Tecumseh Arena

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Starting September 22, those looking to enter the Tecumseh Recreation Complex and Arena will have to go through a COVID-19 screening process.

Council has approved a process which will require residents to show proof of vaccination and answer a number of health screening questions.

Director of Parks and Recreation Paul Anthony says screeners will be set up at each entrance.

"The old days of families coming an hour early and the kids coming into the dressing room and being around are no longer there during COVID-19. They'll have a limited time before the game time to come in and to leave afterwards. So we will have to control the access to make sure that we ensure that everybody coming in is vaccinated," he said.

Anthony says the town will be spending just under $60,000 on additional security, but those costs will be covered by provincial COVID-19 funding.

"We certainly don't have the staffing resources to undertake what is going to be required of us to ensure that vaccination passports are passed," he continued. "We also know that there are going to be issues with residents that come to the door that may have not been vaccinated or their family members that may not agree with the policy and may try to push the issue."

Anthony says arrive early as there will likely be line-ups during peak times.

"They may be there almost at game time and there may be 20 people ahead of them in the line, but we'll have to go through those processes. I assure you the next week we're hoping that those individuals will now realize they've got to be there just a little bit earlier than game time."

Residents under the age of 18 will be exempt from providing proof of vaccination to enter the arena to take part in organized sports.

The new screening policy coincides with the province rolling out its vaccine certificate program on September 22 as well.