All players, bench staff and on-ice officials in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) must be fully vaccinated prior to the start of the 2021-22 regular season, the league announced Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
The policy also requires that all players, bench staff members and on-ice officials have received their first dose of the vaccine prior to any participation in a KIJHL training camp or any other on or off-ice team-based activity, effective immediately.
“The decision to institute a COVID-19 vaccination policy was made with the goal of providing the safest and most healthy environment possible for our players, staff, game officials and all of our other league stakeholders,” said KIJHL commissioner Jeff Dubois. “At the outset of the pandemic we pledged to have that priority guide our decision-making and so the policy being announced today is a natural extension of that commitment.
“We take our role as responsible community partners very seriously, and so we want everybody in the places where we live and play to feel confident that their local team is being proactive to stop the spread of COVID-19. This policy also gives us the best opportunity to keep our players on the ice through an uninterrupted hockey season, which is vital for everyone in the KIJHL after a difficult 18 months and the cancellation of back-to-back Teck Cup championships.”
The KIJHL will be working with Interior Health to ensure that all individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated have the opportunity to receive their first or second vaccine dose, and the league will immediately begin a campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccinations in the communities where its teams operate.