The Saskatchewan Government made two large scale announcements Tuesday, one extended the health order and the other planning to lower the vaccine age significantly by next week.
Existing provincial health orders will continue until May 10th at the earliest, but once again no changes have been made. This means indoor gatherings are still limited to the immediate household, and outdoor gatherings to ten.
Other guidelines for businesses, places of worship and restaurants are all still in place as well.
The Government also renewed a call for people to be proactive in the fight against COVID-19. This means masking up in all public places, including all workplaces,
maintaining physical distancing and reducing all activities outside of the home whenever possible.
Travel to and from Regina is still strongly discouraged as well, as the capital city continues to grapple with an uptick of COVID-19 variants.
Vaccine eligibility age lowered to 40, starting April 28th
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is also planning to roll AstraZeneca vaccines into rotation, meaning they’ll be looking to drop the vaccine eligibility age to 40 by the middle of next week.
The province wants to quickly move into this age range as they say residents ages 40 and over who have contracted COVID-19 have seen the most severe outcomes, accounting for 84 per cent of total hospitalizations and 96 per cent of total deaths.
Based on current allocations, the province plans to drop the eligibility to 44 by Thursday, April 22th, before getting it to 40 by the 28th.
After the age gets down to 40, the province and SHA will begin using mass-immunization methods for remaining first responders, currently being targeted by mobile clinics. These include:
- Police officers
- Front-line healthcare workers with direct patient contact employed by the SHA or private employers (including dentists, optometrists, chiropractors)
- Teachers and educational staff working directly with students
- Correctional staff
- Border security officers
- Eligible workers will require proof of employment from their employer prior to attending mass vaccination sites.
After this, the cycle of moving down via age from 40 will continue, until it reaches those 16 and older.