Sask. preparing to possibly send ICU patients to Ontario

Saskatchewan may soon be looking outside of its borders for support to aid the rising ICU numbers.

The province said today that they have held discussions with Ontario about sending over ICU patients. SHA CEO Scott Livingstone says the ICU capacity in the province is at its full limit. “We’ve seen a surge over 80 ICU patients in the province, it’s a little bit down today”. He added “We do know that we have reserved some capacity as well to deal with things that could happen for example on a long weekend car accidents, trauma, but at the end of the day we are already over our capacity in ICU.”

While the province prepares itself about the possibility of sending patients to Ontario, they still have not asked for assistance from the federal government. Marlo Pritchard from the Sask. Public Agency says that there has been ongoing dialogue within the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre about asking for assistance from Ottawa but no action has been taken at this time. “As part of our PEOC process we are exploring a number of options of looking at resources through the emergency management, looking for avenues to take some of the pressure off critical care nurses, that’s part of the contingency plan that we’re working on.”

The province is still stating that the best line of defence is for everyone to get their vaccine shot.

According to the provincial government, 84% of the Saskatchewan residents who are eligible have received their first shot and 74% have received both doses of the vaccine.

Chief Health Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab says that most of the positive COVID tests in children is not coming from schools but rather from homes with unvaccinated individuals. “The vast majority of those exploited happens in unvaccinated households from parents and siblings who are eligible for vaccinations and due to some inexplicable reason have remained unvaccinated.”

Shahab is hopeful that province will be able to begin administering vaccines for children 5-11 sometime in November.

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