Manitoba’s chief public health officer confirmed Monday that the province has hit Canada Day reopening plan vaccination targets, but how much restrictions will be reduced won’t come until later this week.
Dr. Brent Roussin acknowledged the province has hit the target as of Monday, but wouldn’t confirm any plans, only saying more details will come Wednesday.
Roussin said despite the lessening of numbers, hospitals and intensive care units are still overwhelmed.
“We now have a new fundamental, and that is immunization,” he said.
Read more: Manitoba launches COVID-19 reopening plan
Manitoba’s reopening plan, first announced on June 10, is tied to first- and second-dose vaccination targets, with businesses, services and facilities first allowed to open at 25 per cent by Canada Day, provided 70 per cent of all Manitobans 12 and over have received their first shot and 25 per cent have received their second shot.
The province said at the time that restrictions on gathering sizes would also be loosened if the July 1 target is hit.
“The more of us who get vaccinated, the faster we can regain our freedoms and enjoy what we’ve lost this past year and a half,” said Premier Brian Pallister.
“There are two ways to reopen safely — getting vaccinated as soon as you are able and continuing to follow the public health orders.”
Over the weekend, cases fell below 100 per day, with 93 cases announced on Sunday, and Monday saw 74.
However, there were also nine deaths over the weekend, including a Winnipeg man in his 30s.
To the west, Alberta and Saskatchewan have announced plans to fully reopen in the coming weeks.
Asked if he felt pressure to open faster, Roussin said because the third wave came later in Manitoba than the rest of Canada, opening would also be later.
“We have to do with what we have here, so that might put us on a different timescale than them,” he said.
He also mentioned the province is watching the Delta variant, which is more transmissible than other COVID-19 variants.
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