Health minister ‘hopeful’ by latest Sask. COVID-19 numbers

Saskatchewan’s health minister is optimistic about the province’s latest COVID-19 numbers as they hope to reach the first step of the government’s Re-opening Roadmap on May 30.

Step One of the plan requires three weeks to have passed since 70 per cent of people age 40 and up received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Saskatchewan passed this mark on Sunday with 71 per cent.

Paul Merriman admitted he’s encouraged by the recent decrease in daily new cases in the province. He thinks that it is because of the high vaccination rates and people following public health measures.

“The variants did not take off in Saskatchewan as much as they were predicted to,” said Merriman on Monday afternoon. “I think a lot of that had to do with restrictions in and around Regina at the time, and expanding that to other parts of the province.”

He hopes Saskatchewan can stay in the 100 to 150 range when it comes to daily new cases over the next few weeks leading up to Step One’s target date.

“It’s important to keep those factors in mind just to make sure we’re not just looking at vaccination numbers. It’s the key indicator, but there are other things we are looking at as well,” explained the health minister.

One area they are are keeping a close eye on is in regards to the rising COVID-19 numbers in both Alberta and Manitoba. He said the government wants to make sure they react quickly if they see a spike in communities on or near provincial borders.


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