Ronald McDonald House Site to Relocate All Tenants Over 5 Who Aren't Vaccinated

A Ronald McDonald House in British Columbia is under scrutiny after a notice was sent to all tenants stating that anyone over the age of 5 who remains unvaccinated by the end of January will be relocated to alternative housing, CityNews reported.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities, whose largest corporate partner is the McDonald's restaurant chain, is a nonprofit organization that provides sick children and their families a place to stay close to medical facilities. The charitable organization's British Columbia and Yukon branch (RMHBC) is located in Vancouver.

"RMHBC recognizes and acts upon its responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy environment including taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of individuals attending at an RMHBC facility, particularly given the vulnerable populations served," it wrote in the notice.

The vaccine mandate begins on January 17, and residents have until the 31st to receive at least one dose.

Those against the mandate were quick to respond, as the hashtag "BoycottMcDonalds" has spread across social media platforms. Meanwhile, a video of a father whose family is reportedly staying at a Ronald McDonald House in Canada has caught traction.

In the clip, the father of a four-year-old with leukemia, identified on social media as Austin Furgason, can be seen speaking to a worker at the facility. "This is some kind of crazy evil like I've never seen in my life," he says.

A GoFundMe page for Furgason and his family recently reached $64,000 as of Tuesday, surpassing its original $5,000 fundraising goal.

A spokesperson from RMHBC told CityNews: "Our family services team here would work closely with the team of social workers at the hospital to find alternate accommodation for a family that would meet their needs for the duration of their stay in Vancouver."

The pediatric COVID vaccine was approved in British Columbia for children 5 to 11 years old in November. According to data from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), only 44 percent of the population in that age group has received their first dose.

As of Tuesday, the BCCDC has reported a total of over 286,000 COVID-19 cases in British Columbia, with 2,239 new cases.

Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Canadian province of Quebec announced on Tuesday that it would be imposing a health tax on nonvaccinated residents, and proof of vaccination is required to shop in government cannabis or liquor stores.

Francois Legault, Quebec's premier, said during a news conference that the fee for the health tax has not yet been decided, but will be "significant."

Newsweek reached out to the Ronald McDonald House's British Columbia and Yukon branch as well as Austin Furgason for additional comment.

Ronald McDonald House New York Heroes Volunteer
A Ronald McDonald House in British Columbia announced that residents have until the end of January to get vaccinated or they will be relocated. Above, a view of the exterior of Guastavino's during the Ronald McDonald House New York Heroes Volunteer Event on June 19, 2018 in New York City. Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Ronald McDonald House New York