NWHU MOH comments on provincial proof of vaccination requirements coming into effect Sept. 22
Tim Brody - Editor
The Northwestern Health is working with local businesses and organizations to ensure they know what is expected of them when the provincial government’s proof of vaccination requirements come into effect on Sept. 22.
Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) Medical Office of Health, Dr. Kit Young Hoon shared with regional media last Thursday, “It is important that the public recognize that this policy has been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of local businesses having to close their doors once again.”
The provincial government announced in a Sept. 1 news release that, “To further protect Ontarians as the province continues to confront the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings starting September 22, 2021. Requiring proof of vaccination in these settings reduces risk and is an important step to encourage every last eligible Ontarian to get their shot, which is critical to protecting the province’s hospital capacity, while also supporting businesses with the tools they need to keep customers safe, stay open and minimize disruptions.”
The provincial government outlined in the news release that, “As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:
• Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
• Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
• Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
• Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
• Sporting events;
• Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
• Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
• Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
• Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).
The provincial government clarified that these mandatory requirements would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting.
“In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.”
The provincial government informed that individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated will also be exempted from these requirements.
Dr. Young Hoon also informed regional media last Thursday that, “Vaccination remains one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. There have been nearly 119,000 doses of the vaccine given in our region. Eighty-four per cent of people aged 12 and older have received their first dose and 76 per cent have received two doses.”
Dr. Young Hoon said it is important that everyone screens themselves daily for COVID-19.
“The updated provincial screening tools are a very good way to determine what you need to do. The tools include more questions than just whether you have symptoms. It includes also whether you need to self-isolate if you’ve been in contact with someone who is sick or has COVID-19. We ask that before the public calls our hotline with questions about symptoms or self-isolation that they first complete the screening tool, as often the answer to their question can be found on these results.”
People can find out more about booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at:
As of Sept. 20, NWHU was reporting 12 active COVID-19 cases across its catchment area.