The stakes in the COVID wars are getting higher, and the guidelines and rules are getting tighter and tighter, especially for those who are still unvaccinated.
The City of Weyburn council has entered the fray to make access to city facilities a little harder for those who are not yet vaccinated against the virus.
On Monday night, council passed a new set of rules that will take effect on Monday, Nov. 8, which is also the date of the next council meeting.
On that day, residents will need either proof of vaccination or else a negative COVID test to enter most city facilities, with a few small exceptions.
Since residents may need to pay bills such as taxes or utilities, or may need to go to the police station to speak with an officer or make a complaint, those facilities can be entered (for now) without the need for the documentation.
A person might also be a spectator for a game at the Spark Centre or for a minor hockey game at one of the arenas – but, if the person wants to play, or attend a ticketed event like a Red Wings game, or to use any of the facilities at the Spark Centre that you pay money for, then you do in fact have to have proof of a vaccine or a negative test.
Prior to making the decision to go with the tougher rules, council heard a presentation from the medical health officer for this area, Dr. Stanley Enebeli, along with Trevor Tessier of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Their up-to-date information on COVID shows that cases and hospitalizations for COVID are actually on the way down, but as Dr. Enebeli pointed out, it’s largely attributed to the rules the province came down with on Oct. 1 and then again on Oct. 19, expanding the requirement for the proof of vaccine or a negative test.
So, while many people won’t agree with this thinking, the idea is that to continue with the requirement for the documentation will help keep the case numbers down.
To be fair, the City is walking a fine line here, because they are funded by taxpayers, and those residents pay the bills regardless of whether they’ve had a COVID vaccine or not. They are fully entitled to access the public facilities that their taxes are paying for – but now, it seems, public health requirements are trumping whether or not they are tax-paying supporters of city services and programs. Is this right? Is this justifiable?
They are allowing people to come into City Hall to pay those taxes, but then are not allowing those people paying their hard-earned money to use those facilities simply because they haven’t been jabbed with a needle for COVID. This is putting more importance to COVID than seems logical, and yet in this fight against the virus, people want to be free of it and be able to live their lives. The only saving grace here is that,hopefully, these rules are temporary, and people at some point will get on with life again.