Saskatchewan Examiner

Sasks top doctor warns against unnecessary contact in the wake of the Omicron outbreak

Saskatchewan's top doctor advises against unnecessary contact. ​

Key Takeaways:

  • The province’s top doctor has issued a strong warning against unnecessary contact during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The top doctor emphasised that the province must ultimately decide whether or not additional health measures are required.

While Saskatchewan has not abided by other provinces in enforcing COVID-19 measures to prevent the spread of Omicron, the province’s top doctor has issued a strong warning against unnecessary contact during the current coronavirus outbreak.

During a Thursday update, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab stated “, “I think the choice is becoming very stark, Omicron transmission is increasing exponentially.”

“For the next, I would say 2 to 4 weeks at least,” Shahab said, “We really need to hunker down and only do what is essential and minimize other non-essential contacts.”

Also read: New cases of COVID-19 are exploding in Indigenous communities across Canada

According to Shahab, Saskatoon is experiencing “quite a surge and Omicron transmission in the community.”

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 1,790 active cases in the Saskatoon area, which does not include cases self-diagnosed using at-home rapid tests.

With 1,422, the Regina reporting area had the second-highest number of confirmed active cases.

A single “large transmission event,” according to the chief medical health officer, can easily generate hundreds of cases, leading to thousands of cases in a week.

“I believe it will be a phase where it is not just hospitalization that will be the most difficult,” Shahab said.

“Keeping the work going in all sectors, essential and non-essential small businesses, large workplaces, is going to be a challenge.”

Saskatchewan's top doctor advises against unnecessary contact.
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Saskatchewan’s top doctor advises against unnecessary contact. Image from CBC

Shahab recommends using the best mask available and getting a COVID-19 booster to prevent Omicron spread in workplaces and schools.

“We must, of course, return to work. Occupational health and safety teams, which include cohorts of staff and units, must manage the risks in the workplace. If you’re working shifts, you’ll need to make sure that shift people in different shifts don’t overlap, “Shahab remarked.

To avoid a simultaneous surge in cases and keep overall numbers down, Shahab advised against non-essential travel between communities in the province.

The top doctor stressed that it is ultimately up to the province to decide whether or not additional health measures are necessary.

“Historically, the government has relied on the people of Saskatchewan to change their ways and do the right thing,” Shahab said.

“It would be up to the government to decide whether that is enough or if additional measures, such as public health orders, are required.”

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