As of July 7, 71 per cent of Saskatchewan residents had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 50 per cent are now fully immunized. With increasing community protection against COVID-19, Saskatchewan was to move to Step Three of the Re-Opening Roadmap Sunday, July 11 when all public health orders were to be removed, stated a release. This includes the removal of the province-wide mandatory masking order and the removal of limits on events and gathering sizes.
For those who are eligible for either a first or second dose, find a nearby clinic or pharmacy and help Stick it to COVID today - go to www.saskatchewan.ca/covid-19-vaccine.
As of July 11, the public health order requiring masking in indoor spaces was to end, but masking will continue to be an option for all residents who wish to do so. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people should still consider masking.
It is the choice of an individual business or facility to implement their own masking policy. Upon entering a facility that requires a mask, patrons must respect the decision of the business and either comply or choose not to visit the establishment.
Businesses, workplaces and schools
Policies regarding safe businesses and workplaces are determined by individual Occupational Health and Safety plans, continued the release. Endemic COVID-19 transmission should be considered as part of these plans. Communicate those plans with staff and/or clients to ensure that all are familiar with the policies in place.
Additional information for businesses and workplaces is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/step-3-business-workers-faq.
Prekindergarten to Grade 12 schools will return to regular operations for the 2021-22 school year and licensed child care facilities can return to regular pre-pandemic operations as of July 11.
Family visitation in long-term, personal care homes and acute care settings
As of July 11, long-term care homes and personal care homes may allow an unlimited number of visitors and family members for their residents, subject to scheduling limitations in a home.
Visitors and families will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and will be offered rapid antigen testing in SHA facilities. Visitors and families are strongly encouraged to continue to wear masks during visits and to maintain physical distance, especially if not fully vaccinated. Staff will continue to take recommended precautions to protect residents including staff masking, screening, rapid testing and use of personal protective equipment.
More information on family visitation to care home settings is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid-care-home-visitation-guide.
Masking and screening will still be required for all patients and visitors to Saskatchewan’s acute care health facilities. All measures regarding screening for COVID-19, including screening for symptoms and masking will continue at all Saskatchewan Cancer Agency facilities until further notice.
Children under 12, and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons
At this point in time, there are no COVID-19 vaccines approved for children under 12. All residents 12-plus are encouraged to be fully vaccinated to afford these groups the best circle of protection possible.
Children can contract, transmit and become ill with COVID-19 though the risk for serious health outcomes is lower than older populations. For those who are fully vaccinated, all activities with children will be considered lower risk.
While very few people have any contraindications to vaccination, there is a small population who may not mount an effective immune response after a complete vaccine series (e.g. some severely immunocompromised individuals). If you are a close contact of a person who cannot receive the vaccine due to health reasons, fully vaccinated individuals are asked to respect that person's personal preferences for any additional preventative measures.
Being COVID-19 aware
While the public health order will no longer be in place, COVID-19 will continue to circulate, particularly among unvaccinated populations. Being fully vaccinated is the best protection against COVID-19 and all residents will continue to be offered first and second doses through pharmacies and Saskatchewan Health Authority clinics.
As the province continues to offer vaccinations, all residents should continue to self-monitor for symptoms. Stay home if you are sick and seek a COVID-19 test. Information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-testing.
All public health agencies respond to localized outbreaks of transmittable diseases like influenza during the course of a year. Public health will continue monitoring and respond to localized COVID-19 outbreaks.
- COVID-19 testing will still be available. Testing locations and hours may depend on local rates of transmission and demand.
- Contact tracing is a common practice for disease investigation and will continue for COVID-19.
- Cases and close contacts who are not fully immunized may be advised to isolate by public health officials. Individuals should follow all advice provided by public health officials.
General COVID-19 information
General public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.