Saskatchewan Examiner

As spring approaches, Saskatchewan may be able to lift some COVID-19 restrictions

As spring approaches, Saskatchewan may relax some COVID-19 restrictions

Key Takeaways:

  • According to Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, the province of Saskatchewan is considering removing some COVID-19 restrictions, but booster shots are still required.
  • According to Saskatchewan government data, 47 percent of eligible adults have received their booster shot, a figure Shahab believes is starting to fall behind.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer asserts the province is considering lifting some COVID-19 restrictions, but that booster shots are still necessary for preventing serious illness as well as preserving the healthcare system.

As society realizes to live with the virus, Dr. Saqib Shahab said that discussions with the Saskatchewan Party government are ongoing regarding which public health orders will be required.

He believes a long-term strategy is required because the pandemic will soon enter its third year in Canada. On March 11, 2019, the World Health Organization proclaimed the pandemic.

“As our cases rise and fall, Saskatchewan, like many other jurisdictions, may have to figure out how to best navigate out of this,” Shahab said on Wednesday.

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“To adapt to our changing realities, we must change our policies and orders.”

Some restrictions have run their course, Premier Scott Moe said on the John Gormley radio program on Wednesday, and his govt’s goal is to remove all restrictions as soon as possible.

Moe remained tight-lipped about the situation, but more details are expected in the coming days.

A mask mandate, a necessity to self-isolate for 5 days after testing positive for COVID-19, and proof of immunization or a negative test are all part of the province’s current public health orders.

The limitations on public health will be in place till the end of February.

Booster shots, according to Shahab, are critical to limiting the pandemic’s effects.

As spring approaches, Saskatchewan may relax some COVID-19 restrictions. Winnipeg Free Press
As spring approaches, Saskatchewan may relax some COVID-19 restrictions. Image from Winnipeg Free Press

According to Saskatchewan government data, 47% of eligible adults have received their booster shot, a number that Shahab believes is starting to lag.

“Even with Omicron, which is more transmissible but less severe (than Delta), there was data from across Canada that indicates the benefit of boosters in terms of preventing hospital admissions and death,” he said.

Dr. Joseph Dahine, an intensive care expert at Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval, Que., said earlier this week that the hospital where he works has yet to have someone in its ICU who has received three doses of vaccine.

He said that people with chronic health conditions like high blood pressure as well as diabetes are also included.

“Vaccines may not prevent you from testing positive for HIV, but they will prevent you from needing ICU care,” Dahine said in an interview.

He added that people who don’t want a third shot frequently complain to Dahine, but they wouldn’t say anything if it were a pill.

On Wednesday, 315 people in Saskatchewan were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 33 of them in intensive care. The province had a 33 percent test positivity rate.

The Canadian Press first published this report on January 26, 2022.

Source: Toronto Star

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