STICK IT TO COVID: KEEP HOLIDAY GATHERINGS SAFE

‘Tis the season for planning holiday season gatherings with family, friends and in workplaces.  Share seasonal greetings and not COVID-19.  

  • All holiday planning should consider the vaccination status of your potential guests as well as the risk for friends and family who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.  Let your guests know if your gathering will require proof of vaccination. The COVID-19 QR code and verifier apps make it easy to check the vaccination status of guests in all settings.
  • Know before you go – consider using a rapid test ahead of any gathering, even if you are vaccinated.  Free rapid testing kits for asymptomatic screening at home are available throughout Saskatchewan
  • Private indoor gatherings should be kept small, and consider keeping a list of all attendees should there be a COVID-19 case that requires a contact investigation. You should continue to wear a mask and physically distance among people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.
  • Don’t host or attend a gathering if you feel unwell. Seek testing for even the mildest symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status.  
  • Outdoors is safer than indoors and increased ventilation should be considered for all gathering settings whether opening windows or using air purifiers with HEPA filters.
  • Kids should wear a mask when taking photos with Santa, and no pulling Santa’s beard to see if the whiskers are real.  Santa’s face covering should fit over his beard too.
  • School-based holiday concerts and events are required to abide by COVID-19 preventative measures.  Watch for the requirements of the school setting in any invite you receive to a school event.

Single-dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are still available to residents 18 and older on a walk-in basis at designated clinics in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Lloydminster and Estevan. You are considered fully immunized 14 days after your Janssen vaccination, before that holiday break begins.

Vaccination is the best tool available to prevent COVID-19 transmission and serious COVID-19 illness, particularly as new variants of concern are being detected in Canada.  Children aged five to 11 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and getting immunized as soon as possible, which means they will be eligible for a second dose that much sooner. 

Find a vaccination clinic near you and give the gift of protection from COVID-19 to yourself, your friends and family. 

SHA Service Resumption: All Phase One Service Resumption Targets Met

On November 3, aggressive targets were established for returning redeployed health care staff to their home positions by the end of November. As of November 26, more than 90 per cent of eligible SHA staff who were redeployed to address the COVID-19 case surge have returned to their home positions. The result is that 257 services that were previously slowed have been fully resumed and 59 have been partially resumed. 

The SHA is currently finalizing Phase Two of the service resumption plan aimed at returning the remaining staff redeployed to acute care and ICU settings back to their home positions, enabling additional services to return to normal. Details will be provided as soon as available.

More detail in the progress report on these targets and the associated service resumptions by SHA service area is now available.

Supporting Students’ Participation in Extra-Circular Activities
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The Ministry of Education has provided school divisions with further clarity on the importance of maintaining extra-circular activities as part of the overall in-class experience for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.

  • As per the current public health order, students participating in school activities including educational programs and school-organized extra-curricular events and activities held within school premises are not subject to the proof of vaccination and negative testing requirements, and all persons except those participating in physical activity are required to wear a mask while indoors.
  • School divisions cannot require proof of vaccination or the provision of a negative test result as a requirement for students to participate in extra-curricular activities held on school premises. This does not apply to any spectators including student spectators, parents, staff, coaches, volunteers or others attending schools, if they are not students.
  • For school-sponsored activities taking place at external facilities, student participants will be subject to the building operator’s proof of vaccination or negative testing policies.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan strongly encourages everyone to be fully vaccinated, if they are eligible.

Public Health Orders Will Be Enforced

The week of November 22, Saskatchewan Health Authority public health inspectors issued a number of fines:

  • A corporate fine of $14,000 was issued to Iron Bar Fitness in Weyburn for failure to screen for proof of vaccination or negative test. 
  • A ticket of $2,800 for failure to mask was issued to an individual at Your Dollar Store and More in Esterhazy.
  • A ticket of $2,800 for failure to mask was issued to an individual at FT Second Hand Store in North Battleford.

Note that under The Health Information and Privacy Act, the Ministry of Health cannot disclose the names of individuals who have received fines.

COVID-19 Summary for November 30, 2021:

  • From November 24 – 30, 26,048 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in Saskatchewan, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 1,739,204. An additional 93,243 3rd and 4th doses have been administered in the province.
  • As of November 30, 87 per cent of residents 12 years and older and 80 per cent of residents five years older have received their first dose.  Eighty-two per cent of residents 12 years and older and older and 74 per cent of residents five years and older are fully vaccinated.
  • There were 511 new cases of COVID-19 to report in Saskatchewan from November 24 – 30, bringing the provincial total to 80,992 cases. There were 798 recoveries recorded during the same period.
  • The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan is currently 73 (6.1 per 100,000).
  • Twelve new deaths were reported November 24 – 30.
  • There were 355 new lineage results reported for November 24 – 30.
  • As of November 30, there are 133 people in hospital: 96 are receiving inpatient care and 37 are in intensive care. Ninety-two of the people in hospital (69.2 per cent) are not fully vaccinated. In addition, one resident is in out-of-province ICU.
  • For the week of November 22-28, there were no additional monoclonal antibody infusion treatments delivered.  The provincial total remains 20.  Note that treatments are now available in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, Meadow Lake, Ile a la Crosse, Unity, Turtleford, Swift Current, Yorkton and Estevan. 
  • From November 24 – 30, there were 11,936 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan.