The province hopes it’s going to be one great summer in Manitoba.
Premier Brian Pallister and chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin are expected to announce the province’s reopening plan — dubbed One Great Summer Reopening Path according to an invite sent to media — at an 11 a.m. press conference Thursday.
Global News will stream the event live in this story.
The reopening plan comes as health officials say hospital capacity remains strained by a high number of COVID-19 patients.
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Pallister has previously indicated that the plans could be linked to vaccination rates, similar to those in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
It comes a day after Pallister announced a lottery for all people who have received two doses as a way to boost vaccination rates.
Manitoba will also be slightly loosening public health orders Saturday to allow for outdoor gatherings, but restrictions on businesses will remain in place.
Manitoba has been under tight public health orders since a delayed third wave brought a significant surge in COVID-19 infections last month.
Roussin has said that Manitoba is not able to open everything at once given the ongoing demands on the healthcare system.
Manitoba has been transporting critically ill COVID-19 patients to ICUs in neighbouring provinces since May 18 to free up critical care beds during the third wave.
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As of Wednesday, there were 30 Manitobans receiving out-of-province care in Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as in Alberta.
Health officials said there were 121 patients in Manitoba ICUs, including 67 COVID-19 patients Wednesday.
Meanwhile, delays to surgery caused by the redeployment of healthcare workers to cover Manitoba’s stretched ICUs led to two elective cardiac patients being sent out of the province to have their surgeries last week.
Roughly 15,000 non-urgent and elective surgeries have been postponed in Winnipeg alone over the past 15 months due, health officials have said.
On Wednesday, the province reported 250 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, including a teenage boy from Winnipeg.
Since March 2020, 1,081 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died, and 53,403 people have fallen ill with the virus.
— with files from The Canadian Press
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