SARM President feels Rural Saskatchewan wouldn’t take issue with mandatory masks

The president of a group that represents Saskatchewan’s rural leaders doesn’t believe they would be opposed to mandatory masks in public areas.

Ray Orb of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities lives in a small town and says he sees people wearing face coverings to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

The province has brought in a public health measure that requires people in communities with a population of at least 5,000, or which are located near a larger city, to wear masks inside public spaces.

Hundreds of doctor, as well as a nurses union, have questioned why Premier Scott Moe excluded smaller rural areas from the mandatory mask requirement.

Orb doesn’t think such a rule would be a concern in rural municipalities.

He suggests a private home-based business, such as a farm, would be exempt.

“We’re at the point in time now where people can see what’s happening across the country. We can see what’s happening in Manitoba and Alberta. They have huge rural areas,” Orb said Tuesday.

“I don’t think it would be as big a deal as maybe what some people think it would be. I think we’re expecting this to happen and it’s probably going to happen sooner than later.”

Moe and the province’s chief medical health officer were to provide an update on public health measures later on Tuesday.

The premier said on the weekend that added steps were under consideration as nearly 500 new COVID-19 infections were reported.

Health officials have said intensive care units in Saskatoon are running at 130 per cent capacity and some out-of-town patients have been diverted to units in different cities.

(Canadian Press)

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