Another extension has been given to the provincial public health orders in Saskatchewan.
The measures have been extended until Jan. 31, 2022.
Under the current public health order, masking is mandatory in all indoor public spaces including schools and proof of vaccination or negative test requirements for public access to many establishments, businesses and event venues. Anyone requiring a negative test will still need to acquire their test results from a private provider offering testing services.
Premier Scott Moe says thanks to the measures and the number of vaccines that have been administered, COVID-19 cases are down to their lowest point since August, but that isn’t the case everywhere. “COVID cases as we look across Canada and around the world, parts of Europe as well as the U.S., COVID cases continue to rise so as we head into our winter months, head into the Christmas season, we need to be vigilant, we need to be careful.”
Residents should be able to gather together during the holiday season according to Moe. “If everyone continues to be diligent, if everyone continues to exercise a degree of caution and continues to go out and get vaccinated, we should be able to get together safely over the holiday season without increasing the spread of COVID-19, but it does take that extra effort, the effort that we have all been giving for the last number of weeks.”
Looking back, the Premier wishes that he placed the measures earlier in the fall to help against the fourth wave of the pandemic in Saskatchewan. “They are proving to be effective and in hindsight that is something I regret as we move forward you are seeing these very effective measures remain in place, and these very effective measures will prove to be very effective as we head into the holiday season with public health measures plus a number of other initiatives that we simply didn’t have.”
The extension of the public health order has been met with approval from the provincial opposition. Deputy Leader Nicole Sarauer says the provincial government should be listening to the advice of the medical health officers in the province. “This is welcomed news, we’re happy to see the government listening to the advice of Dr. Shahab. Wish we would’ve seen the government do a better job of listening to Dr. Shahab’s advice in earlier waves, we are happy to see this announcement today.”
The public health order will be reassessed at the end of January.