REGINA — Saskatchewan’s premier has tested positive for COVID-19, just days after making two public appearances in the province.
An email from the office of the premier sent on Jan. 13 confirmed that Premier Scott Moe tested positive on a rapid antigen test taken that morning, and is now self-isolating for the next five days.
The premier is not experiencing any symptoms, said the statement from his deputy chief of staff and press secretary.
The premier also confirmed the news on his Twitter account, sharing that he is “feeling fine” and will be working home for the next several days.
This morning’s rapid test was part of a routine testing regime by the premier, said the statement. The premier last tested negative on Sunday, and did not perform another rapid test until today.
Moe last appeared in public during a press conference yesterday morning to deliver a COVID-19 update on public health orders, where he removed his mask several times to speak with media at the Legislative Building.
Government and tech support staff were also present at the briefing, as well as chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, which lasted approximately 90 minutes.
The premier also made a public appearance in La Loche on Jan. 10, to announce advancement on a school project in the community.
All close contacts to the premier from the past 48 hours have been notified, said the premier’s office, following guidance from public health.
In response to the announcement, Shahab acknowledged he is a close contact and said that he feels that his risk was as reduced as it could be, as he was sitting at a distance from the premier and wore an N95 face mask through the duration of the Wednesday briefing.
“I feel confident that I was wearing a mask that would give me good protection,” said Shahab, this morning.
Shahab said he will be following public health’s guidelines as a close contact moving forward, and he will be testing himself with a rapid test on days three, five and seven of his self-isolation.
As the premier was asymptomatic, Shahab said that it was a situation that could not have been predicted but he feels he did take all possible precautions.
“I’ve found myself in a situation where the vast majority of Saskatchewan residents have been throughout the pandemic — frontline workers in retail, health care, education, all those sectors,” said Shahab. “We just need to be aware that many of us will be faced with this kind of exposure and in most cases will not know it.”
Shahab advised all Saskatchewan residents to continue to be vigilant to avoid transmission, including reducing contact with others, wearing the highest quality mask available and getting vaccinated.
“Wear your best mask for the next two to four weeks, and rotate your masks as you use them, said Shahab.