All residents of Saskatchewan care homes will be allowed visitors starting on May 30, regardless of how many residents in the home have been fully vaccinated, officials announced on Thursday.
Since April 29, care home residents have been able to receive two family members at a time indoors, provided at least 90 per cent of residents at that home were fully vaccinated. Three weeks must have also elapsed since second doses were administered at the home. Up to four visitors per resident were allowed to visit outdoors.
The same rules about the number of visitors will still apply, but visiting will be open to residents in all care homes, according to a news release issued Thursday.
Residents will also no longer have to quarantine after participating in outings.
Only 1 care home resident in entire province currently infected
Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said there is only one care home resident in the entire province currently infected with COVID-19 — a dramatic drop-off from the more than 200 concurrent care home cases back in December.
Seniors Minister Everett Hindley said that 96 per cent of long-term care residents are partially vaccinated while 89 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated.
According to Thursday's release, the number of visitors allowed indoors per resident at once may be increased to four from two by the third week of June.
Premier Scott Moe has said locking down care homes for five months was one of his government's most difficult choices during the pandemic.
146 new cases announced Thursday
Saskatchewan health officials are reporting 146 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
That's below the current seven-day average of 169 new cases per day, or 13.8 new cases per 100,000 people, according to the province's latest update.
No new deaths from the illness were reported for the second day in a row.
The number of known active cases province-wide is 1,785, down from 2,032 one week ago.
Saskatoon continues to lead the province in new cases with 52 more infections, with 26 in Regina and 18 in the central east being the next most.
There are 138 infected patients in hospital, including 26 people in intensive care. One week ago, on May 13, there were 161 people in hospital, including 35 in ICU.