Some Ontario health units tighten immunization rules for indoor youth sports

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Some Ontario health units are taking a harder line than the province on COVID-19 vaccination rules for youth sports.

The province’s proof-of-vaccination policy affecting gyms and other indoor facilities exempts people under age 18 who are entering fitness facilities to participate in organized sports.

But health units covering Windsor-Essex County and York Region have revoked that exemption.

They say heavy breathing, close and prolonged contact and crowded spaces during indoor sports increase the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission.

Medical officers covering seven northern Ontario health units are requiring vaccination for coaches, officials and volunteers aged 12 and older at indoor organized sports.

The immunization rule doesn’t apply to youth participants but the group of top doctors says they will change that if deemed necessary.

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