Shahab suggests social bubble 'reset' as Sask. schools resume
REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s top doctor is suggesting a change in social habits as the province heads back to school in the fall.
Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, advocated for a reset of Saskatchewan citizen’s “summer bubbles.”
“It’s time to examine our contacts and consider the new bubbles that are about to be created by classrooms and fall activities,” Shahab said, in a press conference Friday. “We need to consider reducing our summer bubble.”
He noted even if you don’t have children in school in your immediate bubble, your extended contacts could include school-aged children, teachers, school staff and their families.
Shahab notes that now would be a good time to “reset” virtual households, in order to keep tabs on your close contacts, to assist in potential contact tracing investigations.
Updated guidelines for schools, released by the Government of Saskatchewan on Thursday, stated close contacts of school children, teachers and staff that have tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted as part of contact tracing.
Shahab said this suggested reset would help simplify the investigation process, when someone has come in contact with the virus.
“When we are required to provide a list of our activities and close contacts, as part of a public health investigation, we should be able to count those close contacts on the fingers of our hand,” Shahab said.
Saskatchewan currently has the lowest active case rate in Western Canada, at five active cases per 100,000 population. Active cases dropped below 50 for the first time since July 11, on Friday. As of August 22, Saskatchewan’s effective reproductive number is 0.7.
Shahab attributed to the drop in case numbers to good practices and behaviours in the province.