With ICUs more than full in Saskatchewan, mostly with COVID-19 patients, the province says they’ll be sending six COVID-19 ICU patients to Ontario.
As of Monday afternoon, 85 people were in ICUs across the province. The province normally has 79 ICU beds, however work is being done to increase that to 135, to prevent more patients from having to be sent to hospitals out of province.
A total of 335 people are in hospital with COVID-19, the province said 254 are not fully vaccinated.
Premier Scott Moe spoke to reporters Monday morning, saying the move is simply to relieve pressures being felt on the system in Saskatchewan. The premier is hopeful that sending 6 patients to Ontario would be a one time occurrence but added that dialogue would continue throughout the week and will likely be reassessed on a daily basis.
Moe also said that they are now asking for additional resources from the federal government, which will include hospital staff. The Saskatchewan Premier says the support from Ottawa might create a minimal impact. “We appreciate any help that the federal government can provide, we are also quite realistic that this will not be a large number of staff, that it will be a specialized grouping of staff that will be required.” Moe is expecting the extra staffing from the federal government will arrive in Saskatchewan sometime within the next week.
The average of 7 day cases in the province has begin to drop and has the Premier believes a big of that is because of the vaccination policy and restrictions that were introduced on October 1. “7 day average of new cases about 30% since that announcement was made, that active cases are now 25% of their peak back in September and that was just after the proof of vaccination was announced as well as the masking order. I think you’ll see those numbers continue to drop in the days and weeks ahead, however we still have too many people who are unvaccinated in the province and if you look at the regions with the lowest vaccination rates, they also have some of the highest case rates.” The premier admitted that with the dropping case numbers that move to introduce vaccine passports and restrictions could’ve been made at an earlier date.
The announcement did not impress NDP leader Ryan Meili. He says this is another example this as to how badly Premier Scott Moe has botched the province’s COVID-19 response and that he feels terrible for the families of patients who are now being sent out-of-province. He says if he were the one calling the shots, he would have put the work in that was needed to prevent this from happening and that Moe has put politics ahead of people’s lives.