As the indoor event season approaches, the City of Lethbridge isn’t requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination at any of its facilities.
“We have not made any decision to require mandatory vaccination to attend city facilities or events at this time but do encourage those who are able to be vaccinated, to do so,” the City of Lethbridge said in a statement Tuesday.
City-owned venues include the ENMAX Centre, the Yates Memorial Theatre and CASA, with tenants like the Lethbridge Hurricanes and New West Theatre.
The PBR Canada Cup will be taking place at the ENMAX Centre on Friday and Saturday. The city said while vaccines are not mandated for the competitive bull riding event, it hopes attendees respect public health.
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“As COVID cases rise in the city and province, we are strongly encouraging masking at indoor events and where social distancing is not possible for the health and safety of our community,” the statement read.
Other organizations across Canada have mandated vaccinations for fans and audiences such as Calgary Sports and Entertainment at McMahon Stadium and the Scotiabank Saddledome, with fans at Rogers Place in Edmonton required to either provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the event.
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The city said it is currently exploring its options when it comes to a potential mandate.
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“We are actively working with health authorities and our community stakeholders to determine the best way forward for the health and wellbeing of our staff and residents.”
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Earlier this month, the Western Hockey League announced all staff, coaches, and players would be required to provide proof of vaccination.
According to a spokesperson with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the organization is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, but has not made any decisions regarding a potential vaccine mandate for fans at its home games.
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Lethbridge & District Exhibition, the operators of Exhibition Park, told Global News it is waiting on direction from provincial and federal health authorities, and has also not mandated vaccinations at its venue.
“Lethbridge & District will continue to monitor the ongoing situation as recommended by Alberta Health Services, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization,” an email from a spokesperson read.
“With the wellbeing of our guests at the forefront of our planning, we will ensure that our events are delivered in safe and responsible way.”
CEO Mike Warkentin addressed city council on Tuesday, with plans on COVID-19 protocol at the upcoming Whoop-Up Days expected to be released in the near future.
As of Tuesday, 73 per cent of Lethbridge residents aged 12 and older have been fully vaccinated.
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