March 16 COVID-19 Update
Please note that 4-H BC is not responsible for setting public health policy, and therefore COVID-19 updates from 4-H BC are intended only to provide clarity regarding how current Provincial Health Orders from the Provincial Government apply to 4-H programming. Public Health Orders are the law in our province and must be followed by individuals and organizations.
With the latest announcement on March 14th by Provincial Health Officer, wearing masks in public indoor settings is no longer required.
The PHO announced the intention to remove further restrictions on April 8th. 4-H BC Provincial Council is optimistic that the proof of vaccination requirements for adults attending in-person indoor events, and youth attending overnight provincial programs may be rescinded after April 8th, however until the announcements are officially published on April 8th, we will not be able to confirm. For now, vaccination requirement for adults attending in-person indoor events remain in place.
- Wearing masks in public indoor settings is not required.
- Wearing a mask is a personal choice.
- Individual businesses and event organizers can choose to continue requiring masks on their premises.
- It’s important that we respect the choices of people, businesses and one another.
What’s Has Not Changed?
The following PHO requirement is still in place:
Proof of Vaccination
Youth attendees up to 21 years of age who are participating in a program for children or youth, are not required to show proof of vaccination.
All adults ages 22+ must show proof of vaccination under the following circumstances:
- A person, including a parent, must be vaccinated, if the person is (a) leading, supervising or assisting with a program for children or youth on a volunteer basis, including if the person receives an honorarium for doing so, or (b) required to be present with a child or youth at a program for children or youth.
- A person, including a parent, who is not vaccinated must not (a) lead, supervise or assist with a program for children or youth on a volunteer basis, including if the person receives an honorarium for doing so, or (b) be present with a child or youth at a program for children or youth.
Virtual options to attend events for those not fully vaccinated can be discussed at the club level.
Please see the BC Provincial Health Order on Gatherings and Events for more details.
What do we need to think about when planning our 4-H communications events?
See the updated Planning 4-H Communications Events – COVID FAQ’s document to help with common questions.
How do I get a medical exemption from vaccination?
A request for an exemption from providing proof of vaccination on the basis of a medical deferral to a vaccination must be made on the basis that the health of the person would be seriously jeopardized if the person were to be vaccinated, and must follow the guidelines posted on the BC Government COVID-19 website.
Who will be required to check proof of vaccination at in-person indoor 4-H events?
Section B, of the BC Provincial Health Order on Gatherings and Events indicates that the event organizer must obtain proof of vaccination or exemption from anyone attending the event.
The event organizer must not scan the QR code on a vaccine card with any tool other than a BC Vaccine Card Verifier App. For details and to download the BC Vaccine Card Verifier App visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof/businesses#app.
Should I retain proof of vaccination?
Section D, of the BC Provincial Health Order on Gatherings and Events indicates:
- An organizer must not retain proof of vaccination or proof of exemption provided by a participant, or use it for any purpose other than to confirm that a participant has been vaccinated or has an exemption, as required by this Order.
- Except, with the written consent of a participant, an organizer may keep a record of the fact that the participant has provided proof of vaccination or proof of exemption as required by this Part, and the organizer may rely upon this record to satisfy the requirements in this Part with respect to future participation by the participant in an event at the same place.
Can I still enroll as a 4-H Leader or Screened Volunteer for 2022 if I am not vaccinated?
Any person is welcome to enroll as a 4-H BC leader or screened volunteer regardless of their vaccination status, but at present all adult persons age 22 and up attending in-person indoor 4-H events are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required for adults to attend in-person 4-H events until further notice.
Can I enroll as a 4-H Leader or Screened Volunteer later in 2022 if the PHO changes?
Yes, an allowance will be made in 2022 for 4-H Leaders and Screened Volunteers to enroll up until April 30 should the PHO requirements change.
Can I attend in-person 4-H events as a parent if I am unvaccinated?
At present all adult persons age 22 and up attending in-person indoor 4-H events are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required for adults to attend in-person indoor 4-H events.
This notice will be updated as new information is available.
We recognize the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for everyone in the 4-H community, and gratefully acknowledge the efforts of all 4-H leaders and volunteers in BC for your dedication and ongoing commitment to the youth of your communities.