COVID-19 in Sask: Step 2 of reopening to start on June 20
Threshold of 70% of residents aged 30 and older with 1 dose of vaccine has been met, province says
Step 2 of Saskatchewan's reopening plan is set for June 20, the province said in a news release including Monday's daily COVID-19 statistics.
With over 70 per cent of Saskatchewan residents age 30 and older having received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, one threshold for Step 2 is met, the province says.
That step canstart three weeks after Step 1, which begins on Sunday, May 30.
Step 2 includes these relaxed rules:
- Restaurants and bars will have no table capacity limit but must maintain two metres of physical distancing between tables.
- 150 people are allowed at events, casinos, bingo halls, theatres and libraries if physical distancing is met.
- Long-term care and personal care home residents may have up to four visitors indoors and nine visitors outdoors.
- All remaining restrictions on youth and adult sports will be lifted.
"The reason we are able to do this, to lift these restrictions, is because Saskatchewan people are getting vaccinated," Premier Scott Moe said in a release.
"The vaccines are working. Vaccines are driving down case numbers and hospitalizations and making Saskatchewan safer."
There were a total of 6,466 vaccines administered on Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 662,854. Seventy per cent of people 30 and older have received one dose, and 63 per cent of people 18 and older have received one dose.
Physicians not surprised threshold met
Dr. Alex Wong has been watching the vaccine rollout. The infectious disease physician said it's not surprising that the second-stage bar has been met.
"So it's encouraging. At the same time, it was predictable. We've had good uptake in our adult population here in Saskatchewan for first doses," Wong said.
Wong said the province should still be carefully watching case rates and hospitalizations. As well, he said the province should keep a close eye on the B.1617 variant first identified in India that has started spreading in Saskatchewan. Wong said research shows the second dose gives the best defence against it.
"If we're going to protect ourselves from future waves or if there are going to be future waves, to reduce the numbers of people that require hospitalizations and who ultimately die, we really need to get the second doses into people as fast as possible, not just first doses."
103 new cases Monday, 229 new recoveries, no new deaths
There were 103 new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan and no new deaths reported Monday. The new cases were reported as follows:
- Far northwest: three.
- Far northeast: three.
- Northwest: 18.
- North central: three.
- Saskatoon: 34.
- Central west: one.
- Central east: 10.
- Regina: 14.
- Southwest: one.
- South central: four.
- Southeast: eight.
Three new cases are pending residence information. Three previous reported cases with pending information were added to the northwest and north central zones.
Saskatchewan reported 1,537 active cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The seven-day daily average of new COVID-19 cases is 142, or 11.6 new cases per 100,000 people.
There are 133 people in hospital with COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 28 in intensive care.