Sask., smaller gatherings, more infections, tighter COVID-19 rules

The Saskatchewan government clarified today that emergency orders issued by the province to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic take precedence over those issued by individual municipalities.

There was confusion last Friday after the city of Regina issued orders different from the province’s.

Government relations minister Lori Carr said she has spoken to Regina mayor Michael Fougere to clear up the matter.

“I fully understand that mayor Fougere and Regina city council intended to set guidelines for residents of Regina to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” she said in a news release issued Sunday. “However, during this time of great uncertainty, it is of the utmost importance that we provide certainty to Saskatchewan residents and make every effort to minimize confusion.”

Carr has also met with the urban and rural municipalities associations to make sure all are aware that provincial restrictions and standards will apply.

To date, the following restrictions are in force:

    • Public gatherings of more than 25 people in one room are prohibited except where two-metre distancing can be maintained, work and meeting setting where people are in multiple rooms, and retail stores such as groceries, pharmacies and gas stations;
    • All bars, nightclub, lounges and similar facilities are now closed. Take out of alcohol and food is permitted as long as two metres remains between customers and the delivery person;
    • All in-person classes at schools are suspended;
    • Visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes and group homes are restricted to family for compassionate reasons; and,
    • All persons who have travelled internationally are to be in mandatory self-isolation for 14 days once they return to Canada.

Effective Monday, restaurants and other eateries are to be closed except for take-out, as are gyms, rinks swimming pools, theatres and other public spaces. Personal services such as hair dressers and massage therapists will also close.

As of Sunday, March 22, Saskatchewan reported 52 cases of COVID-19.

That’s an increase of eight over the day before. The new cases include a person in their late teens.

Sixty-two percent of the cases are male and 38 percent female.

So far, 4,536 tests have been done at the Roy Romanow Provincial Lab.

Other information won’t be available until tomorrow as the chief medical health officer isn’t doing media conferences today.

In Manitoba, there are 19 positive cases as of today.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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