On Thursday, Oct. 21, it was announced that everyone participating in the Greater Vernon BC Winter Games in February will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The announcement was made by the BC Games Society Board of Directors to help maximize the safety of athletes, coaches, officials, staff, volunteers and spectators, according to a release from BC Games.
“We must take appropriate actions and precautions to help minimize the health risks for all participants,” said Jamey Paterson, Chair of the BC Games Society Board of Directors in the statement. “We look forward to providing a safe environment as we return to staging these provincial sport events.”
As FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are now available for everyone age 12 and older, the vaccine requirements apply to all BC Games participants, volunteers and guests with no exceptions.
According to the release, full vaccination means 14 days after receiving the second dose. Negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted as a substitute to full vaccinations.
The BC Games Society is optimistic that youth under 12 will be able to receive a Health Canada approved vaccine in the near future, which would allow athletes in that age category to be eligible to compete in the Games.
The Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games will be held on Feb. 24 to 27, 2022, with 1,800 athletes, coaches and officials expected to participate.