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Saskatchewan declares state of emergency

The Government of Saskatchewan is declaring a provincial state of emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public gatherings larger than 50 people are prohibited. Residents are advised to limit non-essential travel outside the province with exceptions for those living near the border and commute to work.

Crown utilities will implement bill-deferral programs allowing zero-interest bill deferral for up to six months for Saskatchewan residents whose bill payments are impacted by COVID-19.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority will stop all non-urgent and elective surgeries, procedures and diagnostics on March 23. The government says it will reduce the risk of exposure for care providers and patients while also freeing nurses and staff when needed.

The SHA will continue to provide services to patients who require emergent and urgent care and will continue with those surgeries as planned. They say patients will be contacted about their surgeries.

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Visitor restrictions are now in place at all SHA facilities in the province and visitors are no longer permitted at any facility except for compassionate reasons. Compassionate reasons include family during end-of-life care, family of patients prior to a major surgery or visitors aiding in clinical care.

The SHA reiterates that under no circumstance should anyone visit their facilities if they have a respiratory, gastric or flu-like symptoms or if they have travelled outside the province in the past 14 days.

Restaurants, bars and event venues must limit their seating to a maximum of 50 people or half their capacity. All must be able to ensure a social distance of one to two metres between customers and licensed restaurants and taverns are permitted to sell alcohol. Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations are exempt but must also keep the social distance separation.

Gyms, fitness centres, casinos and bingo halls are closed until further notice.

Government of Saskatchewan ministries, agencies and Crown corporations will begin phased-in work from home for employees deemed non-essential starting March 23. 

They also say parents with children in daycares should prepare for further restrictions.

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