Saskatchewan Enacts Mandatory Self Isolation Order For Positive COVID-19 Cases | The Canadian News

The Saskatchewan government said Friday that it is enacting a public health order that requires anyone in Saskatchewan who tests positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days after receiving a positive result.

The province said close unvaccinated contacts of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should also self-isolate.

The measures were announced when the province reported 432 new COVID cases on Friday, the second-highest daily total since the pandemic began. The highest daily total was recorded on November 20, 2020, when 441 new cases were reported.

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The new self-isolation measure does not apply to fully vaccinated individuals identified as close contacts. However, they are required to self-monitor and look for evidence at the first sign of COVID-19 symptoms.

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Prime Minister Scott Moe said the self-isolation order is the impact of people not getting vaccinated.

He said the policy is “an incentive for people to re-evaluate their decision (to get vaccinated) if they haven’t already, about going out and taking one of the more affordable vaccines.”

He said that not getting vaccinated increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing serious results.

“But your decision not to get vaccinated is no longer affecting yourself,” Moe said during a briefing on Friday.

“By choosing not to get vaccinated, you increase the risk for those who have no other option, for example, our children under the age of 12.”

Saskatchewan PND leader Ryan Meili called Moe’s response to the current COVID-19 situation in the province “embarrassing, infuriating, and deeply saddened.”

Meili said the province does not have serious public health orders to deal with the increase in cases and that did not change with today’s announcement from the province.

“The term that comes to mind is ‘too little, too late.’ That doesn’t even apply today, ”Meili said. “Too little, too late is what we saw in the second wave.

“This doesn’t even qualify for too little too late because it’s doing absolutely nothing. He has chosen to give up on the people of Saskatchewan. He has given up. “

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He said Moe is ignoring all advice from medical health officials and the province’s director of medical health to at least bring in a mask mandate for the entire province.

“All MHOs in Saskatchewan sent a letter with a very clear description of what must be done, the things that must be done for us to really live with COVID: masks and ventilation in our schools, indoor masks throughout the province,” Meili said.

“If we have a massive wave of COVID-19, we should wear masks. That’s the right measure at the right time. “

In his briefing, Moe said that masks have for the most part been standardized and that people will make the decision to wear masks.

“And I think you’re seeing that,” he said.

“I also carry one with me and wear it when I feel it is necessary. As we move forward, the recommendations on masking remain the same. “

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Moe said there are a number of other recommendations from Friday’s announcement that address the most effective tool for reducing COVID cases: vaccines.

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“It is going to be increasingly uncomfortable not to be unvaccinated in this province,” he said.

Moe said pressure on the province’s health care system from unvaccinated people is filling intensive care beds and overburdening health workers.

“That is the reality of the choice that the unvaccinated have faced in this province,” Moe said.

“It puts our government in a position to expand the capacity of our health care system to cope with a surge in more severe cases and increased symptoms almost entirely … in unvaccinated people.”

Infectious disease physician Dr. Alex Wong told Global News that the order is a significant step that will likely encourage more people to get vaccinated, but he also said he wanted stronger action rather than simply relying on vaccines.

“All the jurisdictions in the developed world that have tried to rely solely on the Delta vaccine have failed,” he said, with the exception of (UK), which has a higher vaccination rate.

“It’s frustrating not to hear more aggressive measures being put in place to help protect the capacity of our hospital or the capacity of the ICU and, frankly, our schools.”

He said the situation in Saskatchewan will likely soon be similar to that in Florida. He said the state has a similar vaccination rate, with a slightly larger population, “and they are being crushed as we speak.”

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The government said elective or non-critical services will be reduced to address the pressures currently facing the health care system.

The province said the service reductions are necessary to create capacity for acute or urgent services.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said it will make up for the reduced capacity by purchasing approximately 8,500 MRIs and CT scans from private providers and increasing volumes at smaller hospitals.

Global News asked SHA CEO Scott Livingstone, who was also at the press conference, why the province is working to increase hospital capacity rather than taking preventive and proactive measures to stop the spread.

“We, (and) anyone in this world, in my opinion, have not been proactive about this virus,” he said.

“We cannot be. Change. We live every two weeks with changes ”.

In public health, prevention is always the number one priority, ”Wong said.

“Prevention is always a strategy… more profitable than trying to mitigate after not avoiding something.

Wong said that was the point of a joint letter from the province’s medical health officials several weeks ago, calling on the government to implement a mask mandate and a vaccine mandate for government and municipal employees, whatever. person who comes into contact with school-age children and healthcare workers.

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Click to Play Video: 'Moe From Saskatchewan Says' Non-Critical 'And' Elective 'Surgeries To Be Postponed'

Saskatchewan’s Moe says ‘noncritical’ and ‘elective’ surgeries will be postponed

Saskatchewan’s Moe says ‘noncritical’ and ‘elective’ surgeries will be postponed

The health authority said it is working with health unions to reach a renewed agreement on greater scheduling flexibility that would also allow for the placement of health workers in areas with sudden increases in COVID-19 cases.

It would also allow the placement of healthcare workers in areas with sudden increases in COVID-19 cases.

Moe said his government is prepared to sign an emergency order if no agreement is reached by Sept. 13.

“In July alone, for example, we saw more than 17,000 unfilled shifts at our healthcare facilities across the province,” he said.

“We have to ensure that the (SHA) has the ability to place staff in our most critical areas and respond to emerging needs that arise every day.”

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Meili said that health workers are “exhausted.”

“We have a situation where hospitals are overwhelmed, where people are dying and he has simple things that he can do,” he said.

“Demand vaccination for large public events, require vaccination for certain professions, people who work for him in public service, people in health care and in our schools. These are simple measures that will save lives. “

Wong warned that Saskatchewan’s health system will be overwhelmed unless the province institutes stronger measures than announced on Friday.

“No one should be in a situation in this province where we have to make decisions about who is receiving poor care or who is not or who is going to access life-saving care rather than who is not going to receive life-saving care.” .

Another measure announced Friday is to increase the contact tracing workforce by hiring private resources.

Testing capacity is expanding and Moe said this will be provided by third-party vendors to preserve capacity in the healthcare system.

“This will also ensure that our healthcare workers can stay on the front line where they are needed most,” he said.

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Moe said that more rapid test resources will be available to more people in the province and that the federal government has secured an additional one million rapid antigen tests.

The province said this will preserve SHA’s laboratory and testing facility capacity for those who are symptomatic or in close contact and who need a PCR test result quickly.

Saskatchewan is also expanding its reinforcement program.

The booster doses began this week in long-term care homes and for the immunosuppressed.

Starting in October, the province said COVID-19 booster vaccines will be available to seniors and will be expanded over the winter to the rest of the public.

Details of the booster program will be released in the coming weeks, but it depends on vaccine allocations from the federal government, the province added.

-With files from Nathaniel Dove

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