SASKATOON — The City of Saskatoon is taking steps to lift some COVID protocols pending the Saskatchewan government’s end to public health orders.
The recommendations by administration are outlined in a report for special meeting of city council to be held Tuesday, Feb. 8, after the provincial government sent out a message that PHOs will soon be lifted.
“The lifting of [PHOs] does not mean there is no longer a risk of COVID-19 in Saskatoon, but it shifts the responsibility for the management of this risk from the provincial government to individuals, businesses, organizations and municipalities,” said Emergency Management Organization Director Pamela Goulden-McLeod.
Once [PHOs] are lifted, the city will return to following Occupational Health and Safety and business continuity processes in managing the response to COVID-19.
The city will also continue to seek guidance from the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s local Medical Health Officers and monitor the SHA's assessed risk of epidemic transmission. The assessed risk of epidemic transmission is currently indicating there is a “high likelihood that COVID transmission is not controlled” in the Saskatoon region, according to a city press release. This is the highest level of risk of transmission.
The report outlines recommendations for requirements related to the proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test and masking in civic facilities and when travelling on Saskatoon Transit and would take effect when the Government of Saskatchewan rescinds the corresponding public health orders.
- That the city council remove proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or negative test requirements for city of Saskatoon facilities.
- That the city council continue the requirement that all persons accessing all city facilities, not including Saskatoon Transit, wear a face mask. For Saskatoon Transit, masks would be recommended but not required.
Measures that may remain in place include enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and the requirement not to enter City-owned facilities if an individual has symptoms of COVID-19.
“The city will continue its focus on educating and informing the public rather than enforcing the use of face masks within city-owned facilities and services,” Goulden-McLeod says.
The city administration also recommends that a monthly report go to Governance and Priorities Committee starting next month, with a written COVID update that includes a recommendation on whether to continue the requirement of masking for all persons accessing all city facilities.
It is important to note this requirement does not apply to any public members directly accessing the Saskatoon Public Library locations located within Leisure Centres. Libraries do not require the public to show proof of vaccination or negative test to enter their facilities under the current PHO.
For more information and the latest updates, visit saskatoon.ca/covid-19.