ICU patients transfer to Ontario will continue next week

The Saskatchewan government is continuing to seek ways to reduce the workload of health care workers

The provincial government announced yesterday that 3 more ICU patients will be transferred over the weekend.

Marlo Pritchard of the Sask. Public Agency says that more ICU patients will be sent to Ontario next week. “We are anticipating the number of transfers will increase early next week to roughly 2 to 4 patients per day for the next several days to further reduce the strain on the health care system.”

Discussions will continue with the federal government next week about the usage of the support staff that will be provided by the federal government.

Pritchard said Lloydminster, Melville, Meadow Lake, Swift Current, Moose Jaw and Regina all have places where residents can pick up rapid test kits.

Pritchard adds the information can be found on the province’s website. It’s also expected that more communities will be able to provide test kits in the coming days as more deliveries come in.

Many workplaces in the province shifting to a proof of vaccination or negative test policy, rapid tests will become an essential for those who are unvaccinated.

SHA employees had to declare their vaccination status last week and whether they will be needing rapid testing.

Derek Miller from the SHA says they purchased a number of tests for their employees. “We are purchasing those rapid tests to support the program delivery, individual staff members will be required to pay for entry into the program in order to offset the cost of the tests and other administrative costs associated with the overall program.”

The cost for employees will be 225 dollars per month.

Tomorrow night, the Sasktel Centre in Saskatoon will host the Eric Church concert in one of the largest indoor gatherings since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the province.

While the case numbers recently hit record numbers in the province, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab is cautiously optimistic that events like these can go on.

Shahab says that the proper protocols are in place. “We have to assess very carefully that there’s 76% with two doses 85% with one dose of vaccine and with the mandatory test if you are not vaccinated to enter and in an  indoor venue you have to wear a mask, do these three layers provide enough protection to prevent from super speader events, we think it does.”

Shahab advises anyone who is not feeling well to refrain from attending the concert tomorrow night.

The Chief Medical Health Officer noted that a reason for showing his emotions during Wednesday’s briefing was because of lower vaccination rate in Saskatchewan.

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