Manitoba’s chief public health officer says new statistics from hospitals show COVID-19 vaccines are working.
Dr. Brent Roussin says COVID-related hospitalizations dropped by 45 per cent between May and June.
He says 74 per cent of people admitted to hospital in June had not received a vaccine shot, and another 22 per cent had received one dose but had tested positive less than two weeks later.
“We don’t bring this up to blame or to shame anyone, or to blame anyone for the reason of their illness — we’re here showing the power of vaccine,” Roussin said.
“You can see the incontrovertible evidence of the value of vaccines right now in Manitoba.”
Manitoba has exceeded its vaccination targets in recent weeks and 76 per cent of people aged 12 and up have now received at least one dose.
The province is planning to further ease public health orders, but Roussin says details have not yet been worked out.
The province is reporting 31 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death.
“Where we are right now with the vaccine uptake, Manitobans have put us in a spot now that we’re going to be starting to loosen these restrictions,” Roussin said Monday.
The current public health orders forbid most indoor social gatherings and cap outdoor gatherings at 25 people. Casinos, theatres and concert halls remain closed.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has said word on what further loosened restrictions will look like will come this week.
–With files from Shane Gibson
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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