June 18th, 2024

WHL announces mandatory COVID vaccinations

By Lethbridge Herald on August 17, 2021.

The Western Hockey League has dropped the gloves on the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the WHL announced it has adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Effective immediately, all WHL roster players, hockey operations staff and other team and WHL office personnel along with officials must be fully vaccinated with a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the 2021-22 WHL regular season.

The regular season opens Oct. 1.

In addition to players, the mandatory vaccination policy will apply to general managers, coaches, head scouts or director of player personnel, trainers, equipment managers, on-ice and off-ice consultants, on-ice officials and ice level off-ice officials — penalty box attendants, timekeepers and scorekeepers — and any other individuals who interact directly and on a regular basis with players.

“The health and safety of our players and staff continues to be the number one priority for the WHL,” said WHL commissioner Ron Robison in a release. “The policy is designed to further protect our players and staff in the WHL from the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“With travel restrictions currently in place with the Canada/U.S. border as well as the province of Manitoba, it is important all players and staff are fully vaccinated in order to be eligible to play a full season in the WHL.”

The WHL has also strongly recommended to each of its member clubs that players reside in billet households in which all eligible individuals are fully vaccinated.

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Good decision!