Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton reacts to the Open for Summer plan announced by the province on Wednesday afternoon

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The near future looks a little brighter as Alberta has released how COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed in the weeks and months to come.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveiled his plan to reopen on Wednesday afternoon, with the plan dependent on vaccination rates hitting the benchmarks of 50 percent, 60 percent and 70 percent of those eligible with at least one dose, and fewer hospitalizations.

“The Premier announced the Alberta Open Summer Plan, which will phase out province-wide health measures in three different stages as we meet vaccine targets and hospitalizations decline,” said Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton. “The plan as presented, I think, is a great plan for our province. I would have liked to see maybe a little earlier, especially on Stage 1, with places of worship open this Friday (May 28) and restaurants and leisure activities not before June 1. It would have been a great opportunity, in my opinion, to see that outdoor recreation at a minimum could have started as soon as possible.

The announcement of the reopening by British Columbia yesterday raised expectations among residents of Alberta Peace.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) people were very excited and I know a lot of Albertans said they really liked the plan sent by BC,” Clayton said, adding that Alberta’s plan was quite similar. to that of its western neighbor. “Today’s plan, Alberta’s Open Summer plan gives (a phased approach). It is actually more aggressive than the one in British Columbia. It will fully open us to Stage 3 by early July, assuming people meet vaccine targets and we meet our number of hospitalizations.

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“This plan is very clearly defined and could materialize within five weeks.”

Some of the highlights of British Columbia’s plan to reopen, released on May 25, allow residents to host a dinner party for up to five people, attend an outdoor event, or attend a wedding with up to five people. ‘to 50 people, to participate in outdoor recreation and sports, and to dine indoors in a restaurant in groups of no more than six people.

British Columbia’s four-step plan is tied to first-dose vaccination rates, envisioning a return to normal life by early September.

The mayor of Grande Prairie is not worried that the vaccination in Peace is a little behind compared to the rest of the province.

“In my opinion, the North Zone has been doing a great job recently,” said Clayton. “We have seen the availability of doses increase significantly. We know that people come through the immunization clinic regularly and that it has been very busy. We have a very young population, so with a combination of recently added age groups and access to vaccinations. we have seen our numbers increase.

Clayton added that people need to make sure they get vaccinated in order to move the plan forward.

“I think people understand that we have to stick with the plan,” Clayton said. “The Prime Minister explained, in terms of achieving these numbers, how easy they will be. Right now, for stage 2, for example, we need an additional 76,000 doses, and there are 99,000 reserved.

“If people stick to their appointments and we stick to the pace at which we do immunizations, that will also lead to fewer hospitalizations. With a combination of the two, we should get to stage 2 by mid-June. Seeing stage 3 laid out at the start of July, I think, is a good sign. “


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