Moe said he did not want to impose restrictions on the “vast” majority of the population vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We are not going to implement widespread restrictions on about 80 percent of the population who came out and got their first shot,” he said in a briefing Thursday.
“The vast majority of Saskatchewan people have done the right thing, and we are very reluctant to impose blanket restrictions on all of society.
Provincial Emergency Operations Center supports Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 response
Dr Alex Wong, an infectious disease physician in Regina, called the proclamation “disappointing.”
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He said he hoped for additional public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly ahead of the Thanksgiving long weekend.
“The health care system has completely collapsed,” he told Global News.
“We just don’t have any additional capacity to grow here in Regina or frankly and pretty much, I think, nowhere else at this point. “
He said today’s announcement of a new provincial command center to handle the province’s response to the pandemic doesn’t really change anything.
He told Global News that he went through Regina’s intensive care unit just before the interview. He said almost everyone looked defeated.
“You can’t take your good people and crush them like that and no and not do something that to me is so incredibly disappointing. “
Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan
SHA’s Acting Senior Medical Officer of Health Dr Cory Neudorf, speaking in Saskatoon, stressed that healthcare workers have grappled with the emotional and physical burden of treating people with COVID for more than 18 months.
Neudorf praised the coordination Moe said the command center would bring, but the doctor and epidemiologist also said stricter health measures earlier would have helped.
He said this is especially true because the volume of infections and the amount of community transmission occupy many hospital beds and because the Delta variant keeps people in the hospital longer.
“We can’t offload (the patients) as fast as they come,” he said.
“And, unfortunately, what’s creating bed space right now is the deaths. “
He also warned that the upcoming holidays could spread the virus if people met. He said the government should tell people to cut back on their trips.
“It’s hard to turn the family away, but now is not the time to mix the vaccinated and unvaccinated population,” he told Global News.
Saskatchewan government, opposition and health professionals issue guidelines for holiday gatherings
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili has called for limiting gatherings until COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations stabilize.
“We are one of two provinces with no collection restrictions leading up to this Thanksgiving long weekend,” Meili said in a statement after Moe’s briefing.
“Scott Moe and Jason Kenney put politics ahead of people’s health. It didn’t have to be that way. “
The city of Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Medical Association and the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses have also called on the province to restrict the size of gatherings.
Saskatchewan reported 650 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday – the province’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.
However, a government note said 241 of the confirmed cases dated back to September 22 and had not previously been entered into the provincial database.
The province also reported four new deaths on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 737.
Meili said one in seven deaths in Saskatchewan since the start of the pandemic has occurred last month.
He said it was preventable.
“Saskatchewan leads all provinces for COVID case rates and death rates,” Meili said.
“Scott Moe needed to seek federal supports weeks ago and should have implemented evidence-based public health measures to protect Saskatchewan families this weekend. He should have announced it today.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to provide whatever support is needed to help Saskatchewan deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
Saskatchewan patients waiting for life-saving surgeries, clarity from health officials
Trudeau and Moe spoke on September 29 about the cases in the province, the increased vaccination efforts and what the province needs to weather the fourth wave of the pandemic.
On Thursday, Moe didn’t rule out asking the federal government for help in the coming days, but added that he was realistic about what can be provided.
“In Alberta, the arrangements that (the federal government) provided… made a total difference of about eight intensive care beds per capita. That would represent about two intensive care beds in Saskatchewan, ”said Moe.
“Does it make a difference? Yes, but we are realistic about how big that difference is and what we are facing here and what we need in terms of highly specialized human resources in our intensive care units.
He also blamed the increase in the number of cases, record hospitalization rates and delays in surgery on people who do not get vaccinated.
Neudorf and Wong both said the health care system needs help from outside the province and needs it very, very soon.
“Somehow we have to find more healthcare workers to staff these beds,” Neudorf said.
“We’re going to have to ask for help in terms of personnel from other places,” Wong said, telling Global News that the health care system had “collapsed”.
Saskatchewan unites COVID-19 command as intensive care admissions soar
The province reported Thursday that 76.4% of hospital patients were not fully immunized.
“Seventy-five to 80% of our hospitalizations are unvaccinated people,” he said.
“They block health services that other people may need for other reasons.
Moe, however, did not completely rule out the introduction of new measures.
“I would say nothing is ever ruled out as we find our way through what is now the fourth wave of COVID-19,” he said.
“There is no decision that would never be on the table, so to speak. “
Neudorf said the province needs to be proactive.
“It is not enough to seek to respond to the crisis which is immediately before you,” he said.
One effective response involved “doing the things necessary to prevent this flow of patients from continuing to come over the next two months.”
He said many people who are not vaccinated struggle with misinformation.
“It is no longer an experimental vaccine. We have received so many hundreds of millions of doses around the world, and it works. “
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