Is Ronald McDonald House "evicting" all unvaccinated children from its facilities? No, that's not true: Although it's true that Ronald McDonald House (RMH) British Columbia (BC) & Yukon mandates vaccinations for everyone working, visiting or staying there, child patients unable to be vaccinated because they are undergoing treatment are exempt. Additionally, the children's charity says no family will be evicted and it will support families in need of "alternate accommodation".
The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on January 13, 2022. It included a short video of a father confronting what appears to be a staff member at Ronald McDonald House over the policy. It read:
Ronald McDonald House evicting all un-vaccinated children from their facilities. - Father of four-year-old with leukemia posted his letter and this video. This is insanity!!!
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Jan 14 18:56:22 2022 UTC)
Ronald McDonald House Charities is a global, nonprofit organization that provides a home away from home for sick children and their families needing to travel long distances to receive care. RMH BC, which helps support 2,000 families each year, released a statement on its vaccination policy and the motivations behind it. The statement read:
On the recommendation of our local public health unit, the 14 member Board of Directors made the decision to mandate vaccinations for everyone working, visiting, or staying at RMH BC & Yukon to ensure we continue to meet the highest standards of health and safety and protect the vulnerable population of sick children we serve in congregate settings and limit the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
Where residents request an exemption due to various circumstances, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon will review those case-by-case basis, and a decision will be made. All requests will be approved for exemption for child patients undergoing treatment, and therefore unable to be vaccinated. Ronald McDonald House will support any family in need of alternate accommodation if needed after the grace period. No family will ever be evicted from our House.
In addition to child patients unable to be vaccinated, presumably children under the age of 5 would be exempt, as Canada has not approved COVID-19 vaccines for kids that young.
Specifically, in response to the viral video, the RMH BC statement said:
Our team has been in contact with the family in regards to this specific situation, and we are supporting arrangements for alternate accommodations.
We appreciate that this policy will impact those who have made a decision not to vaccinate, however, we must continue to prioritize the health, safety, and welfare of the vulnerable populations that we serve.
Lead Stories reached out to Ronald McDonald House Charities to ask about the claim and some of the specifics of its policies. We will update this story, as appropriate, when we receive a response.