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City of Saskatoon to continue using some COVID-19 restrictions after Step 3 reopening

Click to play video: '‘Stark’ difference between those unvaccinated, fully vaccinated for COVID-19: Saskatchewan premier' ‘Stark’ difference between those unvaccinated, fully vaccinated for COVID-19: Saskatchewan premier
WATCH: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe on Wednesday revealed some "stark" differences in statistics for those fully vaccinated and those who are not. Moe said for the month of June the province had just over 2,000 positive COVID-19 cases in which over 80 per cent were unvaccinated. Fewer than two per cent of positive cases were people who were fully vaccinated and under five per cent of hospitalizations were also fully vaccinated. Moe said there were also no ICU admissions or deaths for fully vaccinated people – Jul 7, 2021

The City of Saskatoon will be following Step 3 of the reopening plan on July 11 when all COVID-19 provincial public health orders are lifted. However, there will still be some restrictions in place for city facilities.

Read more: City of Regina lifting COVID-19 restrictions on July 11

“The lifting of Public Health Orders is an exciting time in our City. In the next few weeks there will be many adjustments and I encourage residents to continue to be patient and kind with each other and City staff as we all move forward together again,” said Pamela Goulden-McLeod, Director of Emergency Management Organization.

Step 3 no longer requires residents to wear a mask or socially distance in city buildings or public transit.

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Some restrictions will continue such as the use of barriers and increased cleaning practices.

Read more: Saskatchewan business groups looking for investments encouraging an inclusive economy

The City is preparing for around 30 per cent of staff to return to the workplace by Sept. 1.

City Hall in-person services are still open with plexiglass shields remaining in place and council meetings resuming this September.

Leisure Centres and seasonal facilities such as the Saskatoon Field House are set to return to regular programming in the Fall as well.

Drop-in programming for places like the Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre will see increased capacity starting on Sunday.

Read more: Spike in Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 numbers attributed to Hatchet Lake outbreak

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm & Zoo will be removing their one-way path with most areas open and unrestricted. However, the Children’s Zoo will remain closed.

One-way paths in the city will also return to two-way use with any restriction signs around walkways and traffic crossings being removed.

All buses will be going back to full standing capacity with drivers encouraged to continue the use of vinyl barriers for safety purposes.

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“COVID-19 created many challenges for our staff and the residents of Saskatoon. Thank you to our staff and our residents for all their work since March 2020 to help keep our community safe. We appreciate the patience and kindness residents have shown when accessing City services,” said Goulden-McLeod.

Click to play video: 'What to expect when Saskatchewan lifts all public health orders' What to expect when Saskatchewan lifts all public health orders
What to expect when Saskatchewan lifts all public health orders – Jul 8, 2021

For any businesses wanting to get rid of their plastic or acrylic COVID-19 barriers, they are to be taken to the landfill since they are not recyclable. Any plastic waste material found in a bin which is larger than 2 ft. high, or about the height of a golden retriever, will not be collected. The owner of the bin will receive fines starting at $500.

A city statement said Plexiglas barriers can be donated to Prairie Harm Reduction or International Women of Saskatoon.

Read more: Pfizer says we need a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine. But experts aren’t so sure

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Staff and visitors of all city facilities will still be welcome to mask up, distance themselves and continue virtual forms of public engagement if they want to.

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