Esterhazy taking measures to combat rising COVID-19 cases
As COVID-19 cases in southeastern Saskatchewan rise, the town of Esterhazy has introduced temporary measures to slow community transmission.
The move to close all locations to the community came on Oct. 7.
“We wanted to close down the town office and any of the facilities that would be open to the community as a precautionary measure,” said Mike Thorley, chief administrative officer of the town of Esterhazy.
As of Thursday, the Central East subzone 5, which includes Esterhazy has 92 active cases, among the 19,000 people who live in the area.
Based on population estimates from the government of Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 dashboard, 60,876 Central East residents are fully vaccinated, making up approximately 63.1 per cent of the 96,478 people living in the region.
Overall, the Central East zone accounts for 334 of Saskatchewan’s 4,294 active COVID-19 cases. The zone currently has the fifth-highest active case count in the province.
“There has been an overflow of COVID-19 in our area not classified as a hotspot,” explained Thorley. “But there are problems where our hospitals were getting full and our school was being closed down.”
Esterhazy has extended the closure to Oct. 18.
The high school is set to return to in-person learning, following confirmation of 22 positive cases.
“As a school division we have been struggling to maintain face to face instruction in Esterhazy,” said Quintin Robertson director of education for the Good Spirit School Division.
The school division said it supports the town's decision to implement temporary closures.
“It certainly brings to light the severity of the situation in the community and surrounding areas,” said Robertson. “We certainly appreciate the leadership that the town has taken we will support them 100 per cent as a school division to ensure that were doing our part to keep students staff and community safe”.
The feedback from residents has been mostly positive
“I think it was necessary at this point in the game. We've been floating along the last few months,” said Marie Baker, Esterhazy resident. “I think it was a very hard decision for them to make but I think it will benefit the community in the long run”.
A total of 35 people from the Central East have died after testing positive for COVID-19, including one death reported Thursday.