Dr. Shahab recommends limitations on indoor gatherings for 2-4 weeks

As Saskatchewan now enters into the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says the next few weeks are critical in order to prevent a surge in Omicron.

Shahab says that data is showing that Omicron is proving to be more transmissible but it is also showing to be less severe than the Delta variant.

He recommends that over the next 2-4 weeks, that residents restrict their essential indoor contact. “This is not the time for any gatherings at all, do what is essential which means, going to work, going to school, but otherwise not having any contact with anyone outside of your household, this is critical to block the wave, but if you do need to have contact outside of your household, antigen testing if very useful.”

Shahab added that the Saskatchewan government is relying on residents to limit social gatherings and if individuals do not follow properly and another surge of cases follows, then further restrictions from the government may be needed.

With the transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, keeping the workforce operating will be an additional challenge along with hospitalizations according to Shahab. “In all sectors, essential, non-essential, small businesses, keeping the work going is going to be a challenge, supply line continuity, all of that will be critical during this phase.”

Masks will continue to be a very important as the pandemic continues Shahab says. “Most of the time when transmission happens, you are not even aware that you are developing a COVID infection.” Shahab added “You can be infected for three to five days and not even know about it, so mask use all the time is going to be critical.”

Along with masks, Shahab adds that testing and getting our booster shots will be valuable tools as we guide our way through this wave of the pandemic

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