The Saskatchewan Government has issued a new public health order limiting private gathering sizes further, mandating masks province-wide and limiting visitation to long term care facilities.
The province announced the new guidelines Tuesday, stating that they will take effect on Thursday, November 19th. They will then be in place until December 17th, after which they will be reviewed by the provincial Chief Medical Health Officer.
Private gathering limits reduced to five, masks now mandatory across Saskatchewan
Starting Thursday, people will have to limit any gathering in a private place to five, down from ten. If people have a family of five or more, they cannot have additional visitors on top of this. Private gatherings are being considered as anywhere that is privately owned, including homes, garages or sheds, for example. Gatherings of any size beyond the immediate household are also being strongly discouraged.
Any larger gathering must occur in a public venue and follow applicable guidelines regarding the locations. Outdoor locations allow for 30 people still, provided that two meters of physical distancing can be maintained.
Visitors such as medical support personnel and tradespersons like plumbers or housekeepers are allowed to still visit the home, again making sure that physical distancing can be maintained and they are masked. Health care workers providing home care services must wear appropriate PPE when physical distancing is not possible.
The new restrictions have also made it so that masks are now mandatory in all indoor public spaces, in all towns across Saskatchewan. A list of the indoor locations can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan website, but the province advises masking up in any location outside of the home.
Care home visits largely suspended, working from home recommended
Visits to all long term care homes and personal care homes are suspended, except for compassionate care reasons. People allowed in are family or support persons for end-of-life care, or to assist long-term care residents whose quality of life or care needs are unmet. Once a visitor is allowed to come in, they will need to undergo a health screening, with a temperature check and health questionnaire. They will then be required to sanitize and wear a mask at all times, and extra personal protective equipment when necessary.
Working from home is also being strongly recommended by the provincial government so as to break the chain of transmission. The government says people should work from home as much as their occupation allows, and if they’re already working from home, continue to do so.
Reviews for several industry guidelines coming
The Ministry of Health plans to consult with several industries to adapt their COVID-19 guidelines. This includes restaurants, casinos, bars, athletic organizations, gyms and faith leaders working on improving current guidelines for their services and the prevention of COVID-19 in their locations.
Entertainment transportation like party buses, group limousines and recreational vehicles are no longer permitted for the time being.
A full list for guidelines in all industries can be found in the Government of Saskatchewan Re-open plan.