Sask. Health Authority introducing proof of vaccination policy to enter all facilities

·2 min read
Starting Nov. 1, essential family members, supports and visitors will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours to enter a Saskatchewan Health Authority facility. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)
Starting Nov. 1, essential family members, supports and visitors will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours to enter a Saskatchewan Health Authority facility. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is implementing a proof of vaccination policy at all of its facilities.

The policy states that essential family members, supports and visitors must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter any SHA acute care facility or Long Term Care (LTC) homes — including affiliates — starting Nov. 8, according to a news release sent from SHA on Friday.

People who choose not to show proof of vaccination can provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test performed in the past 72 hours by an approved provider. The SHA will not cover the cost of testing.

Patients will not be required to provide proof of full vaccination to receive care or service.

Scott Livingston, CEO of SHA, acknowledged during a COVID-19 technical briefing on Friday that there could be some challenges implementing the policy, but said it's in place to "ensure that we're keeping our staff and our patients safe as possible."

"We are still seeing cases in long term care [and] we do need to ensure that we're maximizing family presence," he said.

"We believe that with the implementation of a program like this, we're actually adding another layer of safety for both our staff, our patients and the people who visit them."

Livingstone said other measures like physical distancing and masking are still in place at all SHA facilities.

Proof of vaccination can be provided using one of the following options:

  • QR Code on your mobile phone (screenshot from MySaskHealthRecordOpens in new window or SK Vax Wallet app).

  • QR code printed from MySaskHealthRecordOpens in new window.

  • COVID-19 vaccine certificate printed from MySaskHealthRecordOpens in new window.

  • Wallet cards received at time of immunization (Saskatchewan Health Authority or Indigenous Services Canada).

  • Proof (electronic or in writing) issued by another province, territory or government.

The Ministry of Health will be working with personal care homes to align with the policy, according to the release.

An exemption process is also being worked on, although details have not yet been finalized.

A proof of vaccination policy came into effect for SHA workers on Oct. 1, but staff, physicians and other contract workers had until Oct. 15 to provide a declaration of their vaccination status, their intention to be immunized or seek accommodation, or their intention to take part in a monitored testing program.

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