The Saskatchewan Government has activated the Provincial Command, which means the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre will manage the COVID-19 response for the province.
Effective immediately, the PEOC, part of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, will be responsible for the operational, planning, logistical and administrative aspects of the emergency response to COVID-19.
The PEOC will deploy staff, provincial supports or health care inventory where they are needed, work with federal and provincial agencies to leverage support and coordinate interagency resources within Saskatchewan through various ministries, agencies and crowns.
They will also provide the necessary updates for the public and engage in media briefings about the pandemic. All public health orders and recommendations, on the other hand, will remain under the purview of Dr Saqib Shahab.
Premier Scott Moe says this change will better coordinate the pandemic response between government ministries and staff and provide administrative support so health care workers can focus on helping patients.
The SPSA’s Marlo Pritchard, the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s CEO Scott Livingstone, and deputy Minister of Health Max Hendricks will be in charge of this Provincial Command.
Pritchard says this has worked well in other emergencies, and now the demand on Saskatchewan’s healthcare system requires the resources of the PEOC. He adds they want to make sure that all tools to support healthcare workers are being utilized.
The Government says the Provincial Command will likely be in effect as long as the provincial emergency order is. This order was declared on September 13th.