High vaccination rates among area residents and low daily cases counts have provided a sense of hope of a somewhat normal summer for residents.

As of last Wednesday, the province of Ontario moved into Step Two of the provinces Roadmap to Reopen after the province successfully passed the vaccine thresholds needed to enter Step Two. Those numbers were 70 per cent of residents needing at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 20 per cent being fully vaccinated.

As of yesterday the Northwestern Health Unit reported 76.8 per cent of adults 18 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 60.4 per cent are fully vaccinated and 74.5 per cent of ages 12 and over have gotten one dose of the vaccine and 55.7 per cent being fully vaccinated.

Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard has been at the forefront of the vaccination clinics at the Kenora Rec Centre as a volunteer and has seen the number of people walk through the doors.

“The Northwestern Health Unit has done such an amazing job. Their staff, the people have come in to commit to getting the vaccine into people's arms. The community and our area in our entire region have just stepped up and it's just been great that people are excited about it, and now you've seen the positive results where our numbers continue to drop. We're very fortunate that we've got a great group that's leading us through this.” said Reynard

These recent vaccine rates surpass the needed vaccine thresholds needed to move into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen plan, which is 70-80 per cent of people to receive at least one dose and 25 percent to receive two doses. Step Three is scheduled to begin on July 21, 2021.