Sask. government reminds residents COVID-19 not going away despite health measures being lifted

Just days before the province is set to remove all public health orders, the Saskatchewan government unveiled some guidelines for those wanting to continue to wear masks and socially distance.

Premier Scott Moe says 16 months ago, the province enacted strict measures not seen in Saskatchewan since World War 2, adding the most difficult times seem to be behind us.

“With a significant portion of our population protected by these very safe, and effective vaccines, this Sunday, after 485 days of public health orders and restrictions being in place, after 485 days of the government telling you how to live your life, all of those restrictions will end.”

The Premier added that while the restrictions may be ending, COVID-19 isn’t going away any time soon. He adds the best way for people to prevent future outbreaks is for them to get fully vaccinated.

In the month of June, no fully vaccinated people were admitted to ICUs in Saskatchewan, nor did they add to the province’s COVID-19 related death count.

Moe says the risk factors of catching COVID-19 have changed.

“If you are vaccinated, age is no longer the largest factor in determining your risk of Covid, whether or not you’re vaccinated is,” said Moe. “If you’re fully vaccinated, you are very, very well protected. If you’re not vaccinated, you’re at risk, and it is an unnecessary risk, I would most certainly say.”

Provincial Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said even though it won’t be mandatory, many people may still want to wear a mask in big crowds or around unvaccinated people.

He added the biggest thing is that we let people adjust back to normal at their own speed.

“Everyone will take their own time and pace in choosing how many friends and family they get together with, what additional activities they engage in,” said Shahab. “I think we need to respect everyone’s pace and reasons for participating or not participating in family events or other activities.”

Shahab also said businesses and other venues will make their own decision on to mandate masks in their establishments, and people must still respect their wishes.

More from Play92