Saskatchewan monitoring COVID-19 measures needed to keep essential workers healthy

·1 min read

REGINA — Saskatchewan is looking to other provinces to see what measures they are using to try to keep front-line and essential staff working as COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant surge.

Chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says his recommendations on any further public health orders will be based on keeping essential services going as the province prepares for its biggest spike in infections yet.

The province has already shortened the self-isolation period for asymptomatic and vaccinated people to five days from 10 to allow workers to return to their jobs sooner.

Shahab says Saskatchewan's mask mandate and proof of vaccination or a negative test — along with rapid tests — are enough to reduce numbers for the time being.

Derek Miller, head of the province's emergency operation centre, says the Saskatchewan Health Authority is also watching how health care and workers in other areas are being affected by the Omicron variant — which is now behind 95 per cent of cases in Saskatchewan.

Miller says the health authority is starting to see a potential increase in sick days and contingency plans are being developed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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