Sask. NDP Leader Calls for Clearer Guidance on COVID-19 as Cases Rise

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NDP Leader Ryan Meili said Saskatchewan lacks clear guidelines on COVID-19 as cases in the province continue to rise.He criticized Saskatchewan party leader Scott Moe for the way he handled the pandemic, especially in the first few months, during a virtual press conference on Thanksgiving Monday. Meili also spoke about how his party would handle COVID-19 if elected, citing better guidelines – like transparent thresholds for restrictions and class size caps.

“One of the things we never had in the [Sask.] The party is a clear set of thresholds: when do they expect to introduce mandatory masks, when will we see changes in businesses or other open facilities, ”Meili said.

Meili said the thresholds that would dictate when outbreaks trigger increased restrictions should be publicly exposed, so people can understand what COVID-19 activity is considered expected versus of concern.

Outbreaks declared, increasing cases

Saskatchewan’s overall numbers remain low compared to other provinces, but the province has reported 106 new cases in the past three days and 48 new cases were noted on Monday. The number of cases related to public and private social gatherings in homes and other places is on the rise, according to the Saskachewan Health Authority.

In October, outbreaks were declared in several schools, a retirement home in Saskatoon, a manufacturing center in Gerald, a bank and a transport company in Estevan.

There is also a multi-jurisdictional outbreak originating from the Full Gospel Outreach Center in Prince Albert. People connected to the center said they were unaware of provincial guidelines against singing and requiring those who do to wear masks.

Saskatchewan party leader Scott Moe accused Meili of “trying to undermine public confidence” in public health advice in an “attempt to score political points.” (Matt Duguid / CBC)

Meili called on Moe to send out stronger messages about the importance of wearing a mask as the numbers increase, repeating her message that the province has done well despite Moe’s leadership and not because of it.

“It’s really important that people in leadership roles be role models and show people their commitment to safety.

Sask. Party leader Scott Moe responded in a statement saying, “It is extremely disappointing that Mr. Meili is attempting to politicize Saskatchewan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saskatchewan has been successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19, not by “luck” as Meili suggests, but through the collective efforts of the people of Saskatchewan.

“At every step, our government has followed the advice of public health officials, including Dr. Shahab and his team, and we have taken every opportunity to reinforce their clear direction on what Saskatchewan people should take to help themselves. protect and protect others. We will continue to do this. ”

Moe concluded that it was “sad” that Meili “is trying to undermine public confidence in these guidelines in order to score political points.”

After the COVID-19 outbreak was reported on Monday, Moe issued a public statement asking people to be “especially vigilant in the days to come.”

“Keep your physical distance, wear a mask when distance is not possible, wash your hands often, stay home if you are not feeling well at all, avoid unnecessary travel out of the province and try to limit the number of your close contacts as much as possible. Moe said in the statement.

“Keep public gatherings under 30 people and even fewer than that if you don’t have enough room to physically move away. Self-isolate when necessary. Otherwise, the virus can spread quickly. ”

Sunday, Sask. Party has confirmed that Moe and his staff held a campaign event at a Prince Albert business that was linked to exposure to COVID-19. Moe is self-monitored, but according to current health guidelines, he has not been tested. The party has said it will do so if it starts to experience symptoms.

The NDP and Sask. The party will continue to organize in-person campaign events with COVID-19 precautions in place. Two weeks remain on the election track, including a leaders’ debate on Wednesday. Provincial elections are held on October 26.

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