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Here's what you need to know when Sask. lifts COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday – CTV News

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REGINA —
As of Sunday, Saskatchewan will be free of COVID-19 restrictions for the first time in 16 months.

Here’s what you need to know when public health measures lift and the state of emergency comes to an end:

MASK MANDATES

The province-wide mask mandate will no longer be in effect, however businesses and workplaces are allowed to implement their own policies.

During the province’s last scheduled COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, asked residents to respect masking requirements.

“Some businesses may be wide open. Some may ask for people to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. I think we need to respect each setting in terms of what they’ve determined as a safe place at this point for them, their customers and staff,” said Dr. Shahab.

Dr. Shahab also said it’s a good idea to still wear a mask in crowded settings around unfamiliar people.

GETTING A VACCINE

Health officials continue to urge residents to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Friday, 72 per cent of eligible residents age 12 and older have their first dose, and 52 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Data from the government shows fewer than 70 per cent of people in their 30s, 20s and teens have their first shot, and fewer than 50 per cent of people in each category are fully vaccinated.

According to the province, no fully vaccinated Saskatchewan resident was admitted to the ICU or died of COVID-19 in June.

Of the 2,032 new cases last month, 81 per cent – or 1,641 – were in people who didn’t get the shot or fewer than 21 days had passed since their first dose.

Dr. Shahab said fully vaccinated people are in a “good place,” but unvaccinated people have limited protection from COVID-19.

“Unvaccinated [people], the only protection you have is low case numbers due to the people who are fully vaccinated. The people who are fully vaccinated are providing some protection to you, but COVID is sneaky and finds its way out,” said Dr. Shahab.

PROVINCIAL COVID-19 UPDATES

Provincial health officials held their last regularly scheduled COVID-19 update on July 7.

Premier Scott Moe said updates on COVID-19 in the province will happen as necessary moving forward.

The province previously said it will no longer be releasing COVID-19 press releases on weekends and statutory holidays. Daily data will still be available on the province’s COVID-19 dashboard.

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Peel Region reports its first confirmed case of monkeypox – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Peel Region has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

According to Peel Public Health, the person infected is an adult male in his 30s who lives in Mississauga.

The heath unit said the risk to the public remains low.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family as smallpox, spreads though close contact with an infected individual. Most transmission happens through close contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, but the virus can also be spread by large droplets or by sharing contaminated items.

To reduce risk of infection, people are advised to be cautious when engaging in intimate activities with others. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases and for those deemed at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash/lesions, which could appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until they have improved and rash/lesions have healed.

While most people recover on their own without treatment, those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should self-monitor for symptoms, and contact PPH to see if they are eligible for vaccination.

The Mississauga case is at least the 34th confirmed case of the disease in Ontario, with dozens more under investigation.

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Monkeypox case count rises to more than 3400 globally, WHO says – The Globe and Mail

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More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of them from Europe, the agency said in an update on Monday.

WHO said that since June 17, 1,310 new cases were reported to the agency, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, WHO ruled last week, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

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Sudbury news: Northern agencies highlight national HIV testing day | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario

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Monday was national HIV testing day. Officials say this year’s theme surrounds how getting tested is an act of self-care.

From clinics to self-testing kits, groups in the north say there are many options to get tested and everyone should use whichever way works best for them.

Just more than a year ago, Reseau Access Network in Sudbury teamed with Ready to Know and Get a Kit, groups that provide HIV self-testing kits at a pickup location.

Officials said it has been a huge success.

“We get a consistent number throughout each month and I can’t really divulge those figures, unfortunately, but as part of the overall study I can tell you the pickup of self-tests is a fraction of the amount of tests being ordered,” said Angel Riess, of Reseau Access Network.

“There’s actually a lot of tests being shipped to homes directly but I can confirm that they have been active and there’s a significant number of people who have chosen to engage in both programs.”

Elsewhere, the Aids Committee of North Bay and Area held a point-of-care testing clinic to mark the day.

“It’s an opportunity for us to remind everyone that getting tested is essential. If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take the steps to try to mitigate the possibility of spread,” said executive director Stacey Mayhall.

In addition to stopping the spread, knowing whether you are positive sooner rather than later can allow for a better quality of life.

“HIV is not a death sentence that it used to be,” said Riess.

“There have been advances in testing and medication and people can live long, healthy lives living with HIV.”

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