Excerpt from Saskatchewan.ca
COVID-19 has currently changed the way we live and work – in Saskatchewan, across the country and around the world. It’s impacted the way in which we socialize with our family and friends.
Although the challenge is formidable, it’s one that we’re overcoming by working together. We’re resilient people and are not allowing COVID-19 to dampen our spirit or dim our anticipation of the future.
An essential element of our province’s plan to battle COVID-19 was widespread testing of residents along with the implementation of preventative measures, such as handwashing and physical distancing. This has enabled us to manage and flatten the curve, as well as strengthen the capacity of our health care system. Another important aspect of this approach was to develop a plan that would eventually allow Saskatchewan residents and our provincial economy to emerge from isolation.
Methodical and Phased-In Approach
Re-Open Saskatchewan is a plan built on a methodical and phased-in approach to slowly and responsibly lift restrictions on businesses and services. Flattening the curve and strengthening the system will remain priorities, as will our ability to manage the current COVID-19 pressures by building capacity in the coming weeks and months. Key elements will include increased testing and contact tracing, as well as the preparation of additional space and critical equipment.
Restrictions will be lifted in stages, with consideration given to socioeconomic factors and the risk of transmission. They will be implemented via public health orders, and the timing will be dictated by evidence of transmission.
As restrictions are gradually lifted, the Government of Saskatchewan and its Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, will carefully monitor the daily number of reported cases and other important indicators. They will also monitor to ensure that:
- Transmission of the virus is controlled;
- The provincial health system has enough capacity to test, isolate and treat every case, as well as trace every contact;
- Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings, such as health care facilities;
- Preventive measures are established in place in workplaces, schools and other essential gathering places;
- The risks of importing the virus from outside the province can be managed; and
- Communities and businesses are educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the new realities brought about by COVID-19.