Chamber Chat – March 2, 2021March 2, 2021
See LOCAL video seriesMarch 11, 2021
Swift Current & District & District Chamber Chat with MLA Everett Hindley
1. COVID-19 Vaccines – 2 new approved recently in Canada, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson
- – Feds expect an increase in Pfizer/Moderna shipments to Canada
- – Delay between 1st and 2nd doses approved (4 months between 1st and 2nd dose)
- – Target date of June for all Saskatchewan residents to have received 1st dose
- – Online booking system to be launched soon for vaccinations
- – Pharmacies coming online soon and will book appointments
2. Restrictions – Premier Moe indicated household to be relaxed next week likely
- – Soon need to make decisions on long term care as they will soon have had 2nd vaccination doses
3. Testing clinics – recent call by SHA for employees indicated 2 year time frame. Perhaps due to new variants and increased transmission rates testing will continue this long.
4. VIDO-Intervac – Gov’t of SK has some funds set aside to ramp up to Level 4 facility to manufacture vaccines locally. Federal funding requested. COVID vaccinations could be annual/semi-annual going forward, the provincial government is focused on domestic supply.
5. Rapid testing – why has this not been used as perhaps it could have been? Delays primarily due to resources: lab capacity, training for proper usage, legislation required. Kits and testing have been focused primarily on outbreak locations with care homes being priority to protect most vulnerable to the virus. The expansion of rapid testing will ramp up soon.
6. Re-opening the economy – Saskatchewan has the worst case counts in Canada per 100,000 but regionally we are doing very well. Potential for soft re-open except in “hot spots”. If SK has 1st vaccine dose by June 1 there is a very big appetite for large events to commence.
7. April 6 is Provincial Budget day
8. SCCHS – end of March opening 5 days/week. This is not province wide and is at discretion of local school divisions. After spring break parents and students indicated desire to return to school full time.
9. Sports teams – WHL bubble in progress. What about minor sports programs? Outdoor sports have decreased rates of transmission (soccer, ball, etc.). Conversations started with 57’s and will look to expand.
10. Online Health Services – the pandemic forced virtual/phone options, and it is beneficial to keep going for some requirements such as prescription refills. Ministry of Health traditionally is cautious to make changes which creates delays. Virtual billing codes are in place, and some federal funding is expected to promote/support virtual care going forward.
11.Sponsorship – how to encourage small business going forward. Perhaps an enhanced tax credit? Everett will put forth the idea.