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National expert group expresses concern about provinces' COVID-19 reopening plans

Concerns mainly revolve around the presence of the Delta variant.

Some provinces hit hard by the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are moving toward shedding more public health restrictions, but a national group of health experts is calling on those governments to slow their reopening plans.

Zero Covid Canada says in a letter today to the premiers of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec that the Delta variant first reported in India threatens to undo progress made since the third wave.

The group says a single dose of vaccine is only about 30 per cent effective against the variant and governments should keep some public health restrictions until at least until 70 per cent of residents are fully immunized.

Alberta, which eased restrictions today, is one of the provinces that tied its reopening plan to rates of single-dose vaccinations.

Manitoba announced its reopening plan today, which included loosening some capacity restrictions on businesses and other facilities when 70 per cent of its eligible population with a first dose and 25 per cent with a second dose.

Ontario's partial economic reopening is to happen Friday, which will allow limited retail shopping and patio dining among other changes.

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