Saskatchewan begins the first of its three-step plan to reopen on Sunday, easing some measures enacted to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Under the first step, up to 10 people are allowed at indoor and outdoor private gatherings. In addition, outdoor sports and indoor fitness classes can resume.
Bars and restaurants will be allowed to have six people at a table, up from the current maximum of four, provided those tables are separated by either two metres or a structural barrier.
The rules become more relaxed in Step 2, set to begin on June 20.
Saskatchewan hit a vaccination milestone on Saturday, as the number of vaccine doses administered surpassed 700,000.
The province confirmed 179 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death. At the same time, eligibility for booking a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine expanded.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 1,378,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 36,023 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,506.
Manitoba identified 292 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths on Sunday.
Ontario registered 1,033 new cases and 18 new deaths.
Meanwhile, the provincial government says it will replace Dr. David Williams as chief medical officer of health, as Williams plans to retire in June. Williams, who was set to retire months ago but delayed the move because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has held the position for five years.
He will be replaced by Dr. Kieran Moore, currently the medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health. Moore is expected to step into the role on June 26.
Quebec confirmed 315 new cases and two more deaths on Sunday.
New Brunswick logged nine new cases. Health officials also announced that more than 62 per cent of residents over the age of 12 in the province have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nova Scotia reported one death and 20 new cases on Sunday — the lowest number of new infections in more than a month.
With new daily cases on a downward trend and, as of Friday, 53 per cent of Nova Scotians having received at least one vaccine dose, the province will begin the first phase of a four-phase reopening plan on Wednesday.
Newfoundland and Labrador is moving communities in the Stephenville area and on the Port au Port Peninsula to Alert Level 4 in response to a cluster of cases in the western part of the province.
The increased public health measures will come into effect at 4 p.m. Sunday, as 11 cases have now been tied to the cluster. There are also three presumptive positive cases.
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday, more than 170 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a database from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.5 million.
In the Americas, two-thirds of adults in the the U.S. state of New York have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as hospitalizations statewide continue to decline.
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In Europe, the U.K. vaccine minister says the government may require National Health Service workers to be inoculated against COVID-19 in hopes of preventing medical workers from spreading the coronavirus to their patients.
In Asia, Myanmar’s COVID-19 testing has dropped dramatically and hospital workers are spread thin in the wake of February’s military coup, as doctors and nurses who joined strikes and protests against the junta are being arrested in large numbers.
In Africa, South Africa has extended its nightly curfew and limited the number of people at gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19 as positive cases surge, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
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