By Guy Page
In response to the Dec. 2 passage of Burlington mask mandate, the YMCA on College Street in Burlington is denying access to anyone without proof of vaccination – even those wearing masks, according to a Friday, Dec. 3 statement from Y management to members.
At least one parent of a teenage child denied access to the Y is furious.
The Y cites an “exception” clause in the municipal mask mandate that allows public places to check for vax passports.
“As most of you have likely heard, last night the City of Burlington passed an ordinance relating to masking and vaccination that impacts the operations of our Y. That ordinance goes into effect tomorrow.
“This City requires that people entering public places must be masked. An exception exists for “gyms” that allows us to permit visitors to enter and use our facility unmasked if we “actively screen and limit who may enter [the] premises to only Persons with established proof of vaccination…”
“To comply with the city ordinance, starting tomorrow all who enter our facility at 298 College Street will be required to provide proof of vaccination.”
The mother of a 17-year-old boy – who declined to be named due to concern about blowback on her child – said the exemption actually prompts the use of vaccine passports.
“When I read the BTV draft rule, I zeroed in on how the exemption would encourage vaccine passports, and of course on Dec. 3rd my son was barred from the YMCA because he is not vaccinated. It just infuriates me,” she said. “And it’s so mind-boggling that the YMCA of all organizations with their statements on inclusivity and community don’t see how heinously wrong vaccine passports are.”
Gov. Phil Scott disagreed. “I look at the Y, and they have the right to impose any stipulations they wish,” he said at today’s press conference. He noted that Global Foundries has announced it will require all employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4. GF employees who fail to vaccinate will be out of work by March, according to news reports.