COVID-19 in Saskatchewan: 14 New Cases, Gatherings Limited to 10 People

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Saskatchewan is limiting the size of public and private gatherings to a maximum of ten people.  Additionally, clarity is being provided to Saskatchewan businesses surrounding the operations of allowable business services, in consultation with the Chief Medical Health Officer.  A list of critical public services and allowable business services has been created to inform the business community of which businesses can continue to operate in accordance with social distancing practices.  All changes are effective March 26, 2020.

“As we impose further restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19, we know this creates challenges for businesses in Saskatchewan and we know that providing as much clarity as possible is important,” Premier Scott Moe said.  “We are already seeing the creation of a social distancing economy in Saskatchewan as many businesses adapt their service delivery to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

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Critical Public Services and Allowable Business Services

The government is releasing a comprehensive list of critical public services and business services that will be allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 response and maintaining critical services to the public and industry to prevent supply chain disruption.

The list includes: health care and public health workers; law enforcement, public safety and first responders; production, processing and manufacturing and the supporting supply chains; transportation and logistics; government and community services; media and telecommunications; construction including maintenance and repair; select retail services; and banking and financial services.

Non-Allowable Business Services

Effective March 26, non-allowable business services will be unable to provide public-facing services.  While closure of non-allowable business services prevents certain businesses from providing public facing services, it does not preclude opportunities for non-allowable business services to expand into online retailing, or providing pick-up or delivery services.

Examples of non-allowable business services that will be prohibited from providing public-facing services includes: clothing stores; shoe stores; flower shops; sporting good and adventure stores; vaping supply shops; boats, ATV, or snowmobile retailers; gift, book, or stationary stores; jewelry and accessory stores; toy stores; music, electronic and entertainment stores; pawn shops; and travel agencies.

This is in addition to the following business services that were ordered closed on March 23:

Restaurants, food courts, cafeterias, cafes, bistros and similar facilities.  Exceptions are take-out with two metre distancing between customers during pick-up; drive through food services; delivery of food products; soup kitchens, not-for-profit community and religious kitchens with two metre distancing between tables.

Personal service facilities including tattooists, hairdressers, barbers, acupuncturists, acupressurists, cosmetologists, electrologists, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists, suntanning parlours, relaxation masseuses, facilities performing body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services.

All recreational and entertainment facilities including fitness centers, casinos, bingo halls, arenas, curling rinks, swimming pools, galleries, theatres, museums and similar facilities.

Dental, optometrist, chiropractic, registered massage therapy and podiatry clinics except for non-elective procedures.

Supports for Business and Employers (Previously Announced)

The Government of Saskatchewan has previously announced a financial support program for employers and employees impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

To learn more about supports available for businesses and workers, or for further clarity regarding allowable business services, email supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca, or visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers

Public and Private Gatherings Restricted to 10 Person Maximum

Effective March 26, public and private gatherings of more than 10 people in one room are prohibited. Exceptions are provided where two metre distancing between people can be maintained, such as: workplaces and meeting settings where people are distributed into multiple rooms or buildings; and retail locations deemed essential.

Social Distancing in the Workplace

Workplaces must ensure their occupational health and safety guidelines are up to date and in force to prevent the transmission of respiratory illnesses.

Workers must follow personal protective measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

  • All travellers returning from international destinations – including the U.S. – are subject to a mandatory self-isolation order.  Anyone identified by a Medical Health Officers as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 shall go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from the date of having been exposed.  Exempted are truckers, airline, rail, and work crews that are required to work in order to maintain business continuity and are supervised by Infection Prevention and Control Officers or Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace.
  • Actively monitor for symptoms.  At the first sign of cough, immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Practice physical distancing in the workplace. Maintain a two metre separation between individuals.
  • Wash your hands often. Cough/sneeze into your elbow or tissue and wash your hands immediately.

As of March 25, 2020, the province of Saskatchewan has 14 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 86 confirmed cases.

 Four cases are as a result of local transmission.  The rest are travel-related.
 There are currently four hospitalizations related to COVID-19.
 Four are 19 years of age and under, 69 are between the ages of 20 and 64, and 13 are 65 years and older.
 57 per cent of the cases are males and 43 per cent are females.

To date, 6,270 COVID-19 tests have been performed by the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory.  The case surveillance and testing information, including the regional locations of the confirmed and presumptive positive cases, is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.

© The Outlook

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