COVID-19: Saskatchewan extends public health order until 31 January

Saskatchewan’s the public health order will be extended to 31 January 2022, the provincial government said Thursday morning.

Under the current Public Health Order, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces. Evidence of vaccination or negative test requirements is also in place for public access to a number of companies, firms and venues.

Since the government implemented the proof-of-vaccination policy, over 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, Premier Scott Moe said Thursday.

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That, combined with Saskatchewan residents ages five to 11 starting to get their vaccines, has a positive impact on the province’s COVID-19 situation, Moe added.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Saskatchewan extends mask and proof-of-vaccine mandates until late January'

COVID-19: Saskatchewan extends mask and proof-of-vaccine mandates until the end of January

COVID-19: Saskatchewan extends mask and proof-of-vaccine mandates until the end of January

“It reduces the spread of COVID-19, it ultimately reduces the pressure on our healthcare system, and our new cases and active case numbers have dropped by just over 80 percent from their peak just a few weeks ago,” Moe said.

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“What we are doing is working collectively across this province, but we have to keep doing it a little bit longer.”

Moe said before January 31, 2022, the province will have a clear idea of ​​what impact the Christmas season will have on the COVID-19 transfer rate.

“I do not think anyone should have any illusions that these health measures would not be extended at that time. They are proving to be quite effective,” Moe told reporters.

Asked if he foresaw a possibility that the evidence-for-vaccination policy would be removed in the future, Moe said he would not “rule out what we would consider at the time.”

Canadian Medical Associations President Dr. Katharine Smart told Global News that it is crucial for the provincial government to keep measures in place to protect the health care system.

Smart added evidence-of-vaccination policies encourage people to get vaccinated.

“I think how long (the policy) lasts will really depend on how people go up to be vaccinated and what the numbers look like as we move through the winter. I think the important thing is that we are not prematurely lifting the restrictions we have and entering another wave, ”Smart added.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said there has been no evidence that large gatherings led to the transfer.

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Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan sees COVID-19 testing business boom'

Saskatchewan sees COVID-19 testing business boom

Saskatchewan sees COVID-19 testing business boom

“This just shows that the two goals of wearing a mask and having proof of vaccination or a negative test have made a remarkable difference,” Shahab said.

Shahab added that the province is keeping an eye on other regions such as Western Europe, the United States and other parts of Canada that are experiencing a resurgence of cases.

Shahab said he is pleased to see younger children being vaccinated, and urges all residents to stay up to date with information on booster shots.

“It remains extremely tragic and heartbreaking for all healthcare providers when in many cases they have to care for young middle-aged adults, some with children, young children who were unfortunately unvaccinated, get COVID and end up needing an intensive care bed,” he said. Shahab.

Shahab added that unvaccinated people should not be stigmatized.

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“I think there has been a lot of finger-pointing and I certainly feel we need to have empathy with people who are not being vaccinated,” he said.

Shahab worries that unvaccinated people receiving COVID-19 may delay their care for fear of embarrassment.

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He added that residents should support each other to get their first and second dose.

Shahab added that modeling presented last week shows the province is tracking in “a very satisfactory direction” in terms of case numbers.

He added that the seven-day average of daily new cases has been around eight out of 100,000 people, but he would like to see it go further down to less than five out of 100,000.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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