Proof of Vaccination Policy
As you probably know by now, the Ontario government will be implementing a Proof of Vaccination policy for select settings on September 22nd. This post details how this policy will affect you as a parent or dancer at the Academy.
Please read this post very carefully and click through the links to government information if you have questions about the policies!
The Proof of Vaccination plan is exciting news for dancers and performing artists in Ontario, because it means we're a lot closer to being able to enter theatres again--to perform on stage, and to go on field trips to see professional dance shows! I know all of our dancers have been struggling with all of the missed opportunities to perform and experience live dance in the past year and a half. For highland dancers, this also likely means highland competitions will be able to start again! And we will finally be able to have Parent Observation weeks again this year, with these policies in place!
Please see the initial announcement from the Ontario government here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000779/ontario-to-require-proof-of-vaccination-in-select-settings
DO VACCINE PASSPORTS AFFECT THE STUDIO? YES!
We have been researching, following along with the news and asking lots of questions to ensure we have all of the facts about how these new regulations will affect dance studios, and we now have a solid plan. A few days ago, the government released a list of exemptions for settings that do NOT have to check vaccine certificates. A dance studio is partially exempt as a "youth sports facility", however we do have parents and adult dancers entering the space as well, and adults are not exempt from showing proof of vaccination. Therefore, as of Wednesday, September 22nd, our Proof of Vaccination Policy will be as follows:
Dancers ages 12-17, though eligible, will NOT have to show proof of vaccination to enter the Academy. However, we do encourage vaccination for dancers age 12-17 because anything that helps stop the spread will ensure we can stay open, stay safe, and not have more lockdowns and online dance classes.
Parents entering the building for any reason WILL have to show proof of vaccination OR proof of medical exemption the first time they enter on or after the 22nd*.
All adult dancers registered for Adult Highland or Adult Dance WILL have to show proof of vaccination OR proof of medical exemption the first time they enter on or after the 22nd.
All adults participating in Parent & Tot classes WILL have to show proof of vaccination OR proof of medical exemption the first time they enter on or after the 22nd.
To keep things simple and efficient, each individual will only have to do this once. Once we have you checked off, please let us know if anyone other than a parent will sometimes be coming in with your child so that we can add them to our list as well.
*If you are not vaccinated and do not have a medical exemption, you will need to drop your dancers off at the front door as of September 22nd, in keeping with government policy.* Please see the details released earlier this week: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid-19-cases-data-september-14-1.6174855 If you have a medical condition that exempts you from being vaccinated for COVID-19, you will need to provide proof. Please see the section below.
HOW DO WE SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION?
Print off your electronic receipt from your second* vaccination appointment and bring it with you this week. We'll check you off on our list and you're good to go! To find your receipt, either find the email receipt from Ontario Health when you got your last dose, or download a new one by entering your health card info here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccine-booking-support#proof-of-vaccination
Yes, you can bring it prior to the 22nd to simplify things! We will also check them on Monday and Tuesday if you want to get your name checked off so that it's done.
*if you have only received your first dose, you must wait until you have received your second dose before being able to enter the Academy building*
Please note that there are only two accepted medical exemptions for getting vaccinated for COVID-19, and they are rare. Please read the recent Ontario Ministry of Health document on exemptions here: https://health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/vaccine/medical_exemptions_to_vaccination.pdf
And here is an article explaining the same thing in simpler terms: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-confirms-there-are-only-two-valid-medical-exemptions-from-covid-19-vaccines-1.5572833
Therefore, proof of medical exemption can be either: 1) a note from an allergist or immunologist about an allergic reaction to your first dose or an allergy to an ingredient of the vaccine, or 2) a note from your doctor or immunologist about a heart condition or other medical condition that prevents you from receiving the vaccine. If you have questions about any of this, please contact the Ministry of Health or the local Grey Bruce Health Unit (contact numbers are included at the bottom of this post).
IF I AM NOT VACCINATED, CAN MY CHILD STILL DANCE?
Of course we recommend everyone be vaccinated to help keep our community safe, but your child will be able to continue dancing, you will just not be able to enter the Academy. If you are not vaccinated, in order for us to follow government policy, you will have to drop your dancer off and pick them up at the front door of the building. If you are doing this and your child is under 7 years old, please let us know ahead of time so that we can have a teacher or assistant ready to meet them at the door.
IF I AM NOT VACCINATED, CAN I STILL DANCE? (Adult Dancers)
Only if you have proof of medical exemption, please see above.
HOW DO I BOOK A VACCINE APPOINTMENT?
Book your vaccine appointment here: https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/COVID-19/Vaccines/Getting-Your-COVID-19-Vaccine
Or check out their app, which is a very easy way to book appointments! https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/About-Us/News-Releases/ArticleID/823/Download-Grey-Bruce-COVID-19-Vaccine-App-now
Proof of Vaccination Policy will be implemented on Wednesday, September 22nd.
Dancers under 18 do not have to show proof of vaccination.
ALL adults (18+) entering the Academy building will need to show proof of vaccination (their receipt from their 2nd dose). After you have done this once, you will not have to do so again.
If you are not vaccinated, you must drop your child off at the front door from 22nd onward.
This is Ontario government policy supported by the Ministry of Health and the federal government, and dance studios must adhere to it by law. Hostility or abuse towards Academy faculty for implementing this policy will not be tolerated.
Thanks for helping keep our studio and community a safe and healthy place, everyone! We've had a wonderful first week back to dance classes, and with more and more people getting vaccinated and more and more events opening up, it promises to be a very exciting and fulfilling year for dance and the performing arts!
If you have questions about Ontario's vaccine certificate rules, please contact:
Ontario Ministry of Health here https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/
Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420
Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488.