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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Here’s what you need to know when Sask. lifts COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday

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REGINA — As of Sunday, Saskatchewan will be free of COVID-19 restrictions for the first time in 16 months.

Here’s what you need to know when public health measures lift and the state of emergency comes to an end:

MASK MANDATES

The province-wide mask mandate will no longer be in effect, however businesses and workplaces are allowed to implement their own policies.

During the province’s last scheduled COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, asked residents to respect masking requirements.

“Some businesses may be wide open. Some may ask for people to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. I think we need to respect each setting in terms of what they’ve determined as a safe place at this point for them, their customers and staff,” said Dr. Shahab.

Dr. Shahab also said it’s a good idea to still wear a mask in crowded settings around unfamiliar people.

GETTING A VACCINE

Health officials continue to urge residents to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Friday, 72 per cent of eligible residents age 12 and older have their first dose, and 52 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Data from the government shows fewer than 70 per cent of people in their 30s, 20s and teens have their first shot, and fewer than 50 per cent of people in each category are fully vaccinated.

According to the province, no fully vaccinated Saskatchewan resident was admitted to the ICU or died of COVID-19 in June.

Of the 2,032 new cases last month, 81 per cent – or 1,641 – were in people who didn’t get the shot or fewer than 21 days had passed since their first dose.

Dr. Shahab said fully vaccinated people are in a “good place,” but unvaccinated people have limited protection from COVID-19.

“Unvaccinated [people], the only protection you have is low case numbers due to the people who are fully vaccinated. The people who are fully vaccinated are providing some protection to you, but COVID is sneaky and finds its way out,” said Dr. Shahab.

PROVINCIAL COVID-19 UPDATES

Provincial health officials held their last regularly scheduled COVID-19 update on July 7.

Premier Scott Moe said updates on COVID-19 in the province will happen as necessary moving forward.

The province previously said it will no longer be releasing COVID-19 press releases on weekends and statutory holidays. Daily data will still be available on the province’s COVID-19 dashboard.

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