Sask. government attempts to clear up COVID-19 quarantine confusion
As Saskatchewan’s western neighbour moves to eliminate COVID-19 quarantine rules, the provincial government is attempting to clear confusion around its self-isolation requirements.
On Aug. 16, Albertans who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer be mandated to quarantine, though it will still be recommended by the province.
In Saskatchewan, the government changed isolation requirements for COVID-positive residents on July 11, when the province dropped all public health restrictions.
Previously, the province said anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 “must self-isolate.” However, it was changed to say they “may be required to self-isolate” when Saskatchewan fully reopened.
On Thursday, Minister of Health Paul Merriman said contact tracers and public health officials will still direct residents who have contracted COVID-19 to self-isolate immediately.
“This direction has been and continues to be provided by public health officials to all individuals who test positive for COVID-19,” said Merriman in a statement.
Merriman said if people who have been told to self-isolate don’t follow the direction of public health officials, a medical health officer could order isolation under the Public Health Act. The individual could receive a $2,800 fine if they continue to disobey.
According to the NDP, the message remains muddy.
“The Minister of Health set a very unclear message when it comes to people who test positive with COVID-19, leaving a lot of questions on how they should behave,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili.
“I just want to make it clear. If you test positive COVID-19, stay home. Stay out of contact with people. It is still a very dangerous illness. You can make other people sick.”