November 19, 2021
Due to rising COVID-19 cases, increased community transmission and a growing strain on the healthcare system, Manitoba Health has announced new restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus in the fourth wave of the pandemic. As per Public Health, the following new order applies to all indoor recreational (extra-curricular) school sports effective Dec 6, 2021.
Proof of at least one dose of vaccination or a recent (within 72 hours) negative test result will be required for 12 to 17 year olds for indoor recreational sports. There will be a grace period until Dec. 5 to allow individuals who are not yet fully immunized to comply, with the order to be in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 6.
Proof of vaccination is voluntary. Negative tests need to come from a participating pharmacy as provincial testing sites should only be accessed by symptomatic individuals or those who are required to take a PCR test by public health.
The order applies to sports at public or independent school gymnasiums and other sporting facilities, sports with any portion played indoors (practice or competition), dance and martial arts. Excluded from this order are Physical Education classes and any other physical activity that is part of the provincial curriculum.
As a school division, we recognize that these new restrictions will require parents/caregivers to make difficult decisions regarding their child’s participation in extra-curricular sports. We had hoped to avoid such decisions, as it requires a choice that may result in loss of opportunity for your child. We have a responsibility to follow all public health orders to ensure the safety of our students and staff, and we take that seriously. Still, I can assure you that we understand and empathize with those frustrated or inconvenienced by this new restriction.
Hanover School Division will provide parents/caregivers with the opportunity to declare vaccination status for their children voluntarily. Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 9:00 a.m., parents/caregivers can log in to the HSD Parent Portal and upload proof of immunization, either a QR code, copy of a Shared Health letter, or photo of a vaccination card. If you do not have access to the Parent Portal, parents/caregivers may bring their Child’s QR code or copy of a Shared Health letter to the school office, where staff will scan the code or verify required documentation.
Parents/Caregivers may choose to have their child tested if their child is unvaccinated or they decide not to disclose their child’s vaccination status. Testing must take place within 72 hours of the activity/event. As noted in the order, testing must be completed at a participating pharmacy. Fees will apply (approx. $20-$40), and parents/caregivers are fully responsible for payment to the service provider. Fee rates may vary between pharmacies. Please check with your child’s school regarding the notification process for completed tests.
Collection of Vaccination Data (Ages 12-17)
We encourage all parents/caregivers to voluntarily notify HSD of their children’s vaccination status, regardless of their desire to participate in school sports. Proactively collecting this data will assist HSD in managing its COVID-19 pandemic response and contact tracing. Information about your child’s vaccination status will also help determine exemption status and whether your child is eligible to participate in activities that have a Public Health vaccination requirement.
We appreciate your cooperation and patience. Working together, we can keep the risk of transmission low in our schools which will help keep our schools open for in-class learning.
Colin Campbell, Assistant Superintendent
Hanover School Division