COVID-19 continues to pose risk in north as Sask. reopens
Sunday's province-wide lifting of COVID-19 restrictions comes as many communities in Saskatchewan's north struggle with low rates of vaccination.
In a July 9 memo circulated on social media ahead of Sunday's reopening, the Athabasca Health Authority's (AHA) director of primary health care Taiwo Olubanwo encouraged continued vigilance in the face of low rates of vaccination in many communities.
"The number of individuals who received the COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging, especially in the southern part of Saskatchewan," Olubanwo writes.
"This fact is not so in the northern part of Saskatchewan."
According to Olubanwo's memo, as of Friday the number of people known to be fully vaccinated in the Athabasca Basin "is still very low at 25 per cent."
Olubanwo says only one in eight people are vaccinated in Black Lake and one in four in Fond Du Lac are not fully vaccinated.
Those numbers stand in stark contrast to province-wide vaccination rates with 45 per cent of those eligible were fully vaccinated as of Friday, according to the memo.
"Anyone who is not vaccinated and children are still very much at risk to contract COVID-19," Olubanwo said.
The memo encourages residents in the area served by the AHA to continue practicing typical COVID-19 precautions until the vaccine uptake climbs in the regions.
"This is more so for those who are not vaccinated to protect others and prevent the spread of COVID-19."