TVDSB lifting vaccine mandates for community use of school facilities

FILE PHOTO. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

Officials with the Thames Valley District School Board say COVID-19 vaccination mandates will be lifted on Thursday when it comes to the use of facilities during non-school hours by not-for-profit community groups.

It comes as the province lifted proof-of-vaccination and capacity rules Tuesday, along with most other COVID-19 public health measures, save for mask mandates.

The TVDSB says permit holders may choose to continue requiring proof of vaccination after Thursday.

Face masks must also continue to be worn on school premises, with requirements followed dependent on the activity.

“Additionally, up to two nonparticipants for each participant, such as spectators, will be allowed inside the school facility during the hours of rental,” the board said in a statement.

Read more: London Ont., concert venues and restaurants hopeful COVID-19 restrictions will stay loosened

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As of Tuesday, mask mandates remain in place across Ontario, but businesses like gyms, cinemas and restaurants no longer need to check patrons’ vaccination status.

Remaining capacity limits have also been lifted for venues such as nightclubs, sporting arenas and concert halls. There’s also no longer a limit on the size of social gatherings.

The province’s health minister, Christine Elliott, said Tuesday that she expected mask mandates would be lifted in the province “probably within the next few weeks,” depending on advice from Ontario’s top doctor.

On Thursday, Dr. Kieran Moore indicated that Ontario’s mask mandate for schools would likely be lifted when it is removed for most public spaces. The London District Catholic School Board dropped its outdoor masking requirement last week.

COVID-19 hospitalizations and test positivity rates have fallen sharply over the last month, though wastewater data suggests cases may be starting to rise again.

— with files from Ryan Rocca and The Canadian Press

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