No further COVID-19 restrictions expected to be implemented in Sask.: Moe
Further measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 are not expected to be implemented in Saskatchewan.
During a press conference Monday, Premier Scott Moe said Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 death and hospitalization rates do not warrant additional measures.
“We are not going to impose additional restrictions that cause significant harm for no significant benefit,” Moe said.
Moe initially said further gathering restrictions could be coming to the province, in a social media video in December. Since then, he said a “better understanding” of the Omicron variant led to the government’s decision to stand pat with the current measures, including indoor masking and proof of vaccination.
As of Sunday, Saskatchewan had 252 patients in hospital related to COVID-19.
Of the 226 inpatient hospitalizations, 92 are a COVID-19-related illness, 98 are incidental COVID infections and 36 have not been determined. Of the patients in ICU, 19 are COVID-19-related illness, four are for incidental COVID infections and one is undetermined.
Two residents are in the PICU/NICU; one for a COVID-19-related illness and the other for an incidental infection.
The premier compared Saskatchewan’s current COVID-19 situation to Quebec – which has imposed much stricter public health measures – stating that those measures are not curtailing the spread of Omicron.
“The evidence is right here in Saskatchewan as we manage through this Omicron wave, with very little in the way of restrictions on people’s lives, and we have lower rates of hospitalizations, lower rates of ICU admissions and lower rates, thankfully, of fatalities through the month of January, than many other provinces with much more severe restrictions,” Moe said.
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili suggested other provinces are faring worse during the Omicron wave because they acted too late.
“We had an opportunity to get ahead of this. Now Scott Moe, is using the fact that things got so bad by acting too late in other provinces to excuse not acting at all," he said.
For weeks, Meili said he has been calling on the government to impose measures that would reduce large gatherings, expand proof of vaccination requirements and support school safety.
“They needed to act well over a month ago now,” Meili said, during a press conference Monday.
“We are the only province with zero public health measures in place. We’re the only province without any real measures to keep kids safe in schools.”
Moe said the province will have to learn to live with COVID-19, without relying on further measures.
“It’s going to remain an on going concern for all of us,” Moe said. “We do this without locking down, without taking away people’s freedoms, and without disrupting everyone’s life.”
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