Manager of Emergency Management Operations for the City of Lloydminster Jordan Newton says from the publicly available data, Lloydminster has the highest case count per capita for COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.
Newton informed City Council at its regular meeting that as of Monday October 4th, there are 26 patients with COVID-19 at the Lloydminster Hospital which is about 70 per cent of all patients at the hospital. He noted that Lloydminster has traditionally had a higher case count and has trailed in vaccination status.
The North West region which houses Lloydminster has 378 cases according to the SHA dashboard. Newton noted that the majority of those cases are in Lloydminster. He noted there has been increased demand for services at the local hospital.
Newton said if you placed Lloydminster numbers in Alberta, the city would be second only to Red Deer for having the most number of COVID patients at hospital. In Saskatchewan, that measure places Lloydminster in third behind Saskatoon and Regina for in patient COVID positive cases, he notes.
Newton added that the province has in place two public health orders covering mandatory masking in indoor public spaces and as well the vaccine access system or vaccine passport to access certain places. He noted that mandatory masking will be updated or lifted by the end of October.
He explains they are working to clarify some matters on the vaccine to access program, including for city-run initiatives.
“Predominantly it affects our gym at the Servus Sports Centre as well as any community events we may hold. We are still working to get clarification on the community events and event venues.”
Newton also reminded Council and residents that the required spaces for proof of vaccination or negative test are most entertainment venues, restaurants, ticketed events and stand alone liquor and cannabis retail stores, something the city will also work with the province on, to make sure rules are clear for businesses and patrons.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers shared his response to the per capita data for Lloydminster.
“One of the challenges is, it’s still in part of that area. So was it in the City or is it the surrounding city? It is a big number from that perspective.”
Aalbers reminded residents to continue to follow the health guidelines and protocols as he remained optimistic going forward.
“Hopefully there’s recoveries happening everyday. There’s also new cases happening based on what I’m reading at a provincial level, because that’s where I see most of my numbers come from, is overall from the provincial numbers. So if we can get that number of cases down and we get the number of new cases down, we’ll see a downward trend.”
The mayor indicated that the City will continue to follow the provincial directives.