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COVID-19 Update: Vaccine verification and municipal impacts for the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier this month, the province announced that Ontario residents aged 12 and older would be required to provide proof of vaccination along with proof of identification to access certain businesses and settings effective September 22, 2021 at 12:01am.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre has reviewed the provincial regulations and guidance to determine how provincial policy will impact municipal services. The City of Hamilton will continue to follow provincial direction regarding the verification of vaccination and identification, and remains committed to creating a safe environment by ensuring municipal facilities and local businesses are operating in keeping with the provincial regulations in the Reopening Ontario Act.

In Hamilton, the latest weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 population reported is 44. The average number of cases (7-day moving average) reported per day is 38. The percent positivity among tests is 4.8 per cent. To date, Hamilton healthcare partners have administered 809,504 doses of COVD-19 vaccine - with 82 per cent of eligible Hamiltonians receiving a vaccine to date and 75.2 per cent fully vaccinated.

Vaccine Verification

The province is developing an enhanced electronic vaccine certificate with a unique QR code and a verification app for businesses, which will be available by October 22. Businesses and organizations, including the City, will be responsible for ensuring they meet the provincial requirements for proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Municipal Law Enforcement, will continue conducting inspections to ensure operators are meeting the requirements of the Reopening Ontario Act, including the new proof of vaccination requirements.

Accessing Vaccination Receipts

Vaccination receipts are available as a PDF to be downloaded to a computer, phone or tablet, or printed. Residents can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal, or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to request a copy of your vaccination receipt.

Public Health Services is pleased to be working with Hamilton Public Library on an initiative offering free proof of vaccination printing and laminating services for anyone in the community. Beginning Tuesday, September 21, all 23 branches of the Hamilton Public Library branch will be equipped with publicly-accessible computers with shortcuts to the provincial booking portal and how to obtain and print proof of vaccination. They will each have a laminator available as well as a dedicated phone with a direct line to the Hamilton Public Health Services Vaccine hotline for questions or assistance.

More information about how to access vaccination receipts including for those that have a red and white health care, no health care, or do not have an address is available at www.hamilton.ca/proofofvaccination.

Impact on Recreation Facilities

Starting September 22, 2021, each person who enters an indoor facility for sports, recreation, meetings or events must show proof of vaccination and identification at the time of entry, which will be visually verified by staff.

The only exceptions permitted for recreation facilities include:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Participants of organized sports under 18 years of age (e.g. sport leagues, swim lessons and registered sport programs)
  • Individuals with a medical exemption and supporting documentation from a physician/nurse
  • Individuals using the washroom or passing through an indoor space to access outdoor space
  • Retail or admission/membership purchases (without the intent to stay)
  • Individuals accessing social services (i.e. health services, vaccine clinic, meal/food access)

Vaccination records or documentation will only be visually verified - no information will be retained or copied. As such, individuals will be required to show their proof of vaccination each time they enter the facility.

Residents are encouraged to plan and adjust arrival times accordingly as they may wait times before entering as the new requirements may affect service levels. The City thanks residents for their patience and understanding.

Learn more at www.hamilton.ca/Recreation.

“We are committed to taking all the necessary steps to keep residents as safe as possible. We know the vaccine works and we all want this pandemic to end. The province’s Vaccination Verification Policy ensures the health and well-being of city employees as well as patrons accessing city services are protected. We must all do our part to beat this virus – do it for yourself, your family and your community!” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger 

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