Saskatchewan Opposition Presses For COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate On Provincial Employees | The Canadian News

Saskatchewan’s opposition leader is pushing for the government to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all of its employees.

NDP leader Ryan Meili said he wants Prime Minister Scott Moe to make it a requirement that all health workers, Crown corporations, governments and public agencies in Saskatchewan be vaccinated or tested regularly.

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“There is nothing in place to protect the people of Saskatchewan as the fourth wave rages, and right now Scott Moe is nowhere in sight,” Meili said Thursday at a news conference in front of the Legislature in Regina.

“He has given up. He has given up the fight against COVID-19. He has given up the children of Saskatchewan. He has given up on health workers being exhausted. “

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Last week, the Saskatchewan Party government announced that it will establish a policy to require frontline healthcare workers to present proof of vaccination in the workplace.

Those who are not vaccinated will need to get tested for COVID-19 regularly. Further details on the policy, including its implementation, have not yet been released.

In a statement Thursday, the government said it is not considering mandatory vaccinations at this time.

A spokeswoman said Wednesday that the government continues to monitor COVID-19 in consultation with the province’s director of medical health, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“Prime Minister Moe and Minister (of Health) (Paul) Merriman are collaborating more with the Saskatchewan Health Authority regarding the recent increase in the number of hospitalizations and the current capacity of the health care system,” said Julie Leggott. .

He added that the prime minister would have more to say on this “in the next few days.”

With no public health orders currently in place in Saskatchewan, municipalities, schools and businesses must implement their own policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as the province faces some of the highest COVID-19 numbers in Canada.

The Government of Canada website shows that Saskatchewan had the highest rate of cases in the past week, with 217 infections per 100,000 residents. That’s more than triple the national average of 69.

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The weekly case rate in the North Saskatchewan Health Region is even higher, with 1,121 cases per 100,000 residents.

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Some indigenous groups in Saskatchewan are offering vaccine incentives to encourage people to get their COVID-19 injections.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band in the northeast of the province is giving $ 300 to each member who takes two hits.

Metis Nation Saskatchewan is also launching a vaccine lottery with prizes that include a boat or truck for Metis residents who are fully vaccinated.

Meili said the government needs a province-wide strategy to boost vaccinations as rates have stalled.

Health Canada said Saskatchewan’s vaccination rate is the second lowest in the country, with 69 percent of eligible residents fully vaccinated.

“We shouldn’t have a random mosaic of who is making calls or not,” Meili said. “This should be a consistent policy across the province.”

Click to play video: 'Experts Discuss Options to Boost Sask.  vaccination rates'

Experts discuss options to boost Sask. vaccination rates

Experts discuss options to boost Sask. vaccination rates

Hospitalizations continued to rise along with cases Thursday. The province reported 285 new cases and an additional death. The seven-day average of new cases per day reached a pandemic record with 364 new cases per day.

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There were 184 people hospitalized with the virus, including 32 in intensive care.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has begun implementing more measures to reduce transmission.

Thursday was the second day the health authority closed its Prince Albert COVID-19 testing site early due to capacity issues.

Starting Friday, the health authority will require long-term care home visitors to wear a mask in common areas and strongly recommends that residents do the same when they are not in their rooms.

In Saskatoon, patients in all intensive care hospitals are limited to two visitors at a time.

The health authority said in a statement that the reduction in visits is the result of the “substantial increase in transmission of COVID-19 in Saskatoon and high levels of hospital admissions.”

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