SOA COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

PURPOSE

Special Olympics Alberta (SOA) is committed to providing a safe environment for our staff, volunteers, and athletes. We have a responsibility to protect all members within the Special Olympics community, and for this reason, it is critical that SOA takes any and all necessary precautions to protect against COVID-19.

The purpose of the Vaccination Policy is to provide guidelines pertaining to the expectations and requirements of staff, athletes and volunteers with respect to COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination.

SCOPE

This Policy applies to all registered individuals who attend any in-person SOA programming, competitions, events, and workspaces.

POLICY

It is the policy position of SOA that all staff, and registered participants (volunteers and athletes), aged 12 and older, are required to submit proof of full vaccination to participate in any in-person events. This includes, but is not limited to: weekly program sessions, fundraising events, competitions, and workplaces in both indoor and outdoor settings.

To be considered fully vaccinated, an individual must have had 2 doses, and 14 days must have elapsed after second dose. 

Parents, caregivers, spectators, and any other unregistered individuals are not required to submit proof of vaccination to SOA but will be required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival to a designated staff or volunteer if they wish to attend any in-person activities.

              Acceptable proof of vaccination must include the following:

                             1. Full legal name on vaccine papers

                             2. Dates of vaccinations

                             3. Vaccinations received

                             4. Accompanied by a secondary piece of government issued identification

                                        Acceptable forms of government issued ID:

Drivers Licence, Alberta Identification Card, Passport, Birth Certificate, AB Health Care Card, SIN Card, NEXUS card, Certificate of Indian Status Card, Armed Forces Identification Card, Permanent Residence Card or Canadian Citizenship Card

                             5. In addition to proof, and second ID, please include your affiliate

For those who cannot provide proof of vaccination, Special Olympics Alberta will continue to offer virtual programming with our PEAK Program which all athletes and volunteers can fully participate in. 

Exemptions

Exemptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. If an individual requests an exemption, they must provide written documentation from a certified health professional (must be from the College of Physicians & Surgeons) confirming a medical reason for having not received a COVID-19 vaccination.  

Should an individual be granted a medical exemption by a medical professional, they will be subject to further health safety protocols (i.e., masking, social distancing, limited to one program per season, and screening at programs). 

Special Olympics Alberta reserves the right to deny any exemption if sufficient documentation and/or reasoning is not submitted along with the exemption request.  

Timeline

Special Olympics members must provide proof of full vaccination 2 weeks before their programs start date to the designate at SOA. Those individuals who have not submitted their documentation by this date will not be permitted to attend in-person programming in any capacity. 

All members who are unable to provide proof of vaccination two weeks before their program is set to start are still able to submit proof of vaccination, however, will be approved to attend in-person programming on a case-by-case basis. This will be at the discretion of SOA. 

No members will be permitted to start programming until they have received confirmation from SOA as to eligibility. 

Non-Compliance 

Members failing to comply with this policy or who misrepresent their vaccination status will not be permitted to attend any SOA in-person programming, events, or workspaces in any capacity.  

Confidentiality 

The collection of vaccine information is to be used solely to indicate eligibility of participation to ensure the safety of SOA programs and community. SOA will store this information in our secured database by indicating if we have verified the proof of vaccine only. No physical copies of any vaccine records or personal identification will be kept on file and will be destroyed once verified.

Policy Modification 

Government and Public Health guidelines, restrictions, and best practices regarding COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines are continuously changing and evolving. As such, SOA reserves the right to modify this policy at any time in its sole discretion to adapt to any changing circumstances and operational needs, consistent with its commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy organization. 

Approval

Motion passed by Special Olympics Alberta Board of Directors September 13, 2021 to require athletes, coaches, volunteers, staff, and others attending in-person events to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Submitting Proof

As per our vaccine policy; all staff, and registered participants (volunteers and athletes), aged 12 and older, are required to submit proof of full vaccination to participate in any in-person events. Proof of full vaccination is required 2 weeks before their programs start and can be done so via email, mail, or Zoom. The full process for submitting proof is outlined in the following document, along with our confidentiality policy.

 

Unregistered Individuals

As outlined in the Special Olympics Alberta Vaccination Policy, all staff and registered members (athletes and volunteers) are required to submit proof of vaccination to SOA directly to participate in programs, competitions, or events. 

SOA understands that many of our athletes require support to participate. As such, the following accommodation has been created: 

Unregistered individuals who support athletes are not required to submit proof of vaccination directly to SOA, however, if they wish to attend any program, event, or competition in any capacity they will be required to show proof of vaccination onsite, at the time of the in-person program in question.

Click the following document for full details of this process: 

 

*Facilities may also require proof of vaccination upon entry in addition to Special Olympics Alberta asking for proof of vaccination. As all our programs run out of rented facilities, we must adhere above all to their rules and regulations. This may result in you having to show proof of vaccination multiple times.*