December 5th, 2021

Restrictions exemptions should not apply to youth


By Letter to the Editor on September 29, 2021.

Editor:
The University of Lethbridge 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sports and Wellness should allow youth ages 12-17 to attend their dance classes, swim club, private swimming lessons, climbing wall classes etc. following the Youth Sport Policy for COVID-19 as laid out by the Alberta government.
Currently, the U of L is “taking a holistic approach” to their COVID-19 policy by following the “Restrictions Exemption Program”, not just to their university students and classes but also to the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sports and Wellness that services our Lethbridge community and surrounding area.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw has specifically communicated, “Physical activity is critically important for the overall health & well-being of youth & is necessary to daily living. That is why AB government decided against requiring proof of vaccination for youth U-18 who are taking part in sport, rec & performance activities.”
The U of L is ignoring Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s explicit support for our youth to continue being able to access facilities. The Restrictions Exemption Program should not apply to our youth. The U of L should remove “Youth Sport Participants” from this policy and follow the government’s Youth Sport Policy instead.
Since Sept. 20, the City of Lethbridge has updated their use of the Restrictions Exemption Program after appropriate consultation with government representatives and community stakeholders.
In city facilities for sport, fitness and performance, “Youth participants between the ages of 12-17 will not require proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative Covid-19 test.” Thank you, City of Lethbridge!
The University of Lethbridge, 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness should follow the leadership of the City of Lethbridge and allow our youth to attend this facility without proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test every 72 hours.
Our youth need to be able to continue in their sport, fitness and performance activities at the U of L.
They should not be included in the blanket application of the Restrictions Exemption Program. Follow the Youth Sport Policy U of L and follow the thoughtfulness of the City of Lethbridge.
Georgina Hill
Lethbridge

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John P Nightingale

Children over the age of 12 are eligible to receive the vaccine. Children over the age of 12 can get COVID , some seriously. Kids over 12 can spread the virus (though to what extent is still being assessed).
In an environment whereby people of all ages mix , a “holistic” approach is entirely appropriate in my opinion.
Dr Deena Hinshaw has of late, demonstrated a reluctance to detour from her “upper management” of Kenney, Shandro and and now Copping. Her advice by her own admission fell short earlier this year. Of course kids should exercise and socially participate in multiple activities even during a pandemic but they can also be vaccinated or take a COVID test.
As a past climbing wall enthusiast, participating in such an event should not expose myself or other participants to an increased risk of COVID exposure.
The answer is simple – vaccinate the youth and or provide a negative COVID test.
By not doing so, the already rather fragile chain will be weakened further.
The UofL should be commended for being proactive . In case no one has noticed , we are not doing particularly well at present. Increasing vaccine uptake is vital and that includes anyone over the age of 12.

Last edited 2 months ago by John P Nightingale
AlbertaBob

The two core objectives of any university, including the University of Lethbridge, are teaching and research. Providing recreational and other services to the broader community is secondary to any university’s central purpose. So when the latter has the potential to comprise the former, the decision about what takes a back seat is obvious.

The wisdom of the UofL’s policy is well demonstrated when it is noted that, as of September 16, vaccination rates for children aged 12 to 17 were only 2.8% for one dose and 20% for two doses.