Dear Parents/Guardians of SSMHA Players,
After the policy was announced from HEO Minor District 2 regarding the Mandated COVID-19 Vaccine, we’ve been fielding questions regarding if the policy will apply to parents, guardians and coaches entering facilities as part of a minor sports program.
At this time, HEO Minor District 2 (and the SSMHA) is not mandating that parents or guardians of players be vaccinated in order for their player to participate in Minor Hockey. This decision is to be made by the Province of Ontario. The facilities where your child plays within our region will be mandated to comply with such a mandate, by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
It is important to note that as of September 13th, the Province of Ontario has not provided any clarification on the possible exceptions for minor sports. The SSMHA has still not received anything official from either the EOHU or the Township of South Stormont on how facilities will be required to operate.
It is very possible that the facility operators (i.e., Long Sault Arena, Cornwall Benson Centre, etc.) will be required to enforce a Mandatory Vaccine Policy that would require any parents, guardians, or coaches bringing a player to an arena, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter the facility as of September 22nd.
It is also very important to note, that because the Province of Ontario has not clarified the exceptions, and the SSMHA has not received anything official from either the EOHU or the Township of South Stormont, it is very possible that the facility operators may be enforcing a Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy that would require any players eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to be fully vaccinated to enter the facility as of September 22nd.
Neither of these items have been clarified by the Province of Ontario; the EOHU and the Township of South Stormont are still waiting for this direction before notifying SSMHA. We (the SSMHA) have no control on these topics.
The SSMHA is currently planning the start of its season to meet the requirements as outlined in the HEO Minor District 2 Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination policy. If the EOHU and Township of South Stormont are forced to implement further policies, as a customer of the facility our membership will need to comply with those policies.
As things change and announcements are made, the SSMHA will make the best decision based on the information it has, as expeditiously as possible. We (the SSMHA), as always, will do so without risking the safety of the players, parents, guardians, and volunteers. Decisions around refunds, season structure, players per team, etc. will be made with the same goals in mind.
Any questions regarding the HEO Minor District 2 Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination policy should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.