COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationSaskatchewan, Canada
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseSaskatoon
Arrival dateMarch 9, 2020
(1 year, 3 months, 1 week and 4 days)
Confirmed cases48,327
Active cases763
Hospitalized cases81
Critical cases10
Recovered47,002
Deaths
562
Fatality rate1.16%
Government website
Government of Saskatchewan

The COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan is part of an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19], a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The province of Saskatchewan, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada ranks sixth amongst provinces and territories in terms of overall cases, and third in total cases per-million residents.

Timeline[edit]

Chief Medical Officer Saqib Shahab announced the first presumptive case of in the province on March 12, 2020, a person in their 60s that had recently returned from Egypt.[1] A provincial state of emergency was declared on March 18, and the province began to institute mandatory closures of non-essential facilities and lines of business over the days that followed.[2][3] Saskatchewan reported its first deaths from COVID-19 on March 30.[4] By April 6, the number of new recoveries began to regularly equal or exceed the number of new cases, which also began to steadily drop.[5][6][7][8][9] On April 23, Premier Scott Moe stated that Saskatchewan's caseload was 70% below the national average per-province, and hospitalizations and deaths were 90% below average.[10]

The province's first major outbreak began in late-April, centred upon the remote northwestern community of La Loche. It was traced to an outbreak at the Kearl Oil Sands Project in northern Alberta, with wider community spread attributed to overcrowded living conditions in local First Nations communities.[11] In June and July, a new outbreak emerged in the western and central regions of the province, centred around communal Hutterite colonies. The province hit a new peak of 332 active cases during the spike, which subsided by late-August.[12] In early-October, the number of new cases in Saskatchewan began to rapidly increase in urban communities, with a gospel outreach in Prince Albert being attributed as a superspreader event,[13] and increasing community spread in Saskatoon — particularly at nightclubs.[14]

New restrictions on gatherings were introduced in mid-November, including a prohibition of all group sports activities.[15][16] By early-December, the province reached over 4,000 active cases,[17] and there were increases in deaths tied to long-term care facilities.[18][19] COVID-19-related deaths to-date in Saskatchewan roughly doubled during January 2021.[20] Despite numbers having declined elsewhere in Saskatchewan,[21][22] a third wave attributed to lineage B.1.1.7 began to emerge in mid-March 2021, centred upon the provincial capital of Regina, as well as nearby Moose Jaw, and southeast Saskatchewan. On March 23, the province ordered the closure of indoor arts, entertainment, restaurant, and event facilities in the Regina area to slow the spread of variants of concern. The province also reinstated a prohibition of private gatherings that had recently been lifted to allow household bubbles,[23] while schools in Regina, Moose Jaw, and southeast Saskatchewan voluntarily suspended in-person classes through at least April 26.[24][25][26]

By late-May, the third wave had begun to subside due to vaccination progress, resulting in the province beginning to lift restrictions on a timeline based on vaccine metrics. On June 1, the province saw its smallest single-day increase in cases (86) since late-February.[27][28]

Statistics[edit]

Legend
  Total cases[a]
  Active cases[b]
  Recoveries
  Deaths
  1. ^ Includes confirmed and presumptive cases.
  2. ^ Total cases minus recoveries and deaths.

Provincial government response[edit]

Health orders and restrictions[edit]

Public Health Orders (PHOs) are issued by the government of Saskatchewan pursuant to the declared state of emergency, and are enforceable under provincial law.[29][30] As of May 3, 2021, violations are punishable by fine of up to $7,500 for individuals, and $100,000 for businesses, plus 40% victim surcharge.[31]

First wave[edit]

Shelves void of meat in a Regina supermarket, March 2020.
Another supermarket in Regina, in which most cleaning supplies have been bought as a result of panic buying.

Citing concerns over the potential of an impending outbreak in the province, Premier Scott Moe announced on March 12, 2020 that he would not pursue a snap provincial election. Saskatchewan's general election was held as scheduled on October 26, 2020.[32]

On March 13, following the second presumptive case in the province, the Saskatchewan government announced restrictions on gatherings of more than 250 people in contiguous indoor space, as well as gatherings of more than 50 people if they include participants who had recently travelled internationally.[33][34] Exceptions are permitted for retail shops.[35][36] An exception for faith-based organizations was removed March 16.[35] The government sharply reduced inter-provincial and international travel by any provincial employees on government business. It also provided that provincial employees who have travelled outside the country, whether on government business or personal travel, must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.[36]

On March 17, the government announced that it was delaying the introduction of the provincial budget, because the government revenue forecasts underlying it were no longer reliable, in light of the current situation. The Government would announce the planned spending, including for the health care sector, which would see an increase in funding.[37] The same day, the Legislature passed amendments to provincial employment law, to provide unpaid job security to employees during the pandemic. The amendments passed with the support of both parties.[38] The next day, the Legislature adjourned its spring sitting, with the consent of the Opposition.[39]

Saskatchewan declared a provincial state of emergency on March 18, which included plans for shifting all provincial government entities and crown corporations to remote work by March 23, authorizing the SHA to "redeploy nurses and other staff and ensure medical supplies and personal protective equipment are available when needed and reduce risk of further exposure to our care providers and patients", and advising against non-essential travel outside of the province.[2][3][40] The province also began to institute restrictions on non-essential commerce (including ordering the closure of all fitness facilities, casinos, and bingo halls),[41][40] and banned gatherings of more than 50 people.[2][40] However, the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) says the province was not following its own recommendations for remote work among its own employees.[42]

Beginning March 23, gatherings of 25 people or more were prohibited unless all patrons were capable of maintaining appropriate social distancing.[43][44][45] All art galleries, museums, and other recreational, entertainment, and personal service facilities were ordered closed, and certain types of medical clinics (chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and registered massage therapists) were restricted to non-elective appointments only. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs were restricted to take-out and/or delivery service only. Bars and nightclubs could only offer take-out if customers were capable of maintaining appropriate social distancing.[43][44][45]

On March 26, all gatherings were limited to 10 people,[46][47] and the province ordered the closure of all "non-allowable business services" to the public. Examples of "non-allowable business services" included but were not limited to ATV, boat, and snowmobile retailers, clothing, shoe, accessory, and jewelry stores, electronics, entertainment, and toy stores, flower shops, book, gift, and stationery stores, sporting goods stores, pawn shops, and travel agencies.[46] On April 1, the state of emergency was extended.[48] On April 18, the province released guidelines on the conduction of drive-in church services.[49]

Re-Open Saskatchewan plan[edit]

On April 13, amidst the number of new cases trending downward, Premier Moe announced that he would begin consultations with the Chief Medical Officer on plans to gradually restore normal commerce and services, with plans to release more information as early as the following week if new cases in Saskatchewan remain steady. He warned that these proposals would depend on a "comprehensive and robust testing and contact tracing plan", and that this would have to be done in a cautious manner, since "there is no magic switch that we can flip that sends everything back to normal overnight", and "we may not be able to move on some areas for a number of months, or until we get a vaccine", since the province was "only one outbreak away from interrupting those numbers".[50][51]

The province unveiled its "Re-Open Saskatchewan" plan on April 23, which consists of five phases with a gradual lifting of economic restrictions, and guidelines for specific industries to implement as the phases progress.[52][53][54] All phases are subject to continued practice of appropriate social distancing, and other industry-specific guidelines and requirements issued by the province (such as enhanced cleaning protocols).[52][53][54]

Government recommendations also remain in force indefinitely, such as those regarding personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfection protocols by businesses and public venues (especially on high-touched surfaces), use of protective equipment where applicable, remote work whenever possible, advisories against non-essential travel outside of Saskatchewan (including within Canada), and protective measures for vulnerable populations.[52][53][54]

Shahab estimated in June 2020 that restrictions might not be fully lifted for at least a year.[55] He stated that there were no plans to reintroduce a "lockdown" in the event of a second wave, as he expected "small clusters" of cases to continue emerging over time, and that there were plans for the province to shift its attention to promoting the use of protective equipment and continued social distancing. He felt that Saskatchewan's residents had gone "above and beyond" his expectations in their compliance with health orders.[56]

On July 27, Premier Moe stated that he had not ruled out eventually mandating the wearing of face masks when social distancing is not possible, on either a regional or provincial basis. He noted that the "conversation" had been "escalating" nationwide, and that the province would "really need to be very careful with the public health guidelines and recommendations" once colder weather prompts more people to spend time within enclosed spaces.[57][58]

On August 7, the temporary regulations allowing lawyers to remotely witness the signings of documents such as power of attorney declarations and wills were made permanent, in an effort to "increase access to the justice system through the use of technology."[59]

Phase Date implemented Restrictions eased
1 May 4, 2020

(excluding La Loche and Lloydminster)[60]

May 11, 2020 (Lloydminster)

  • Previously-restricted medical clinics such as chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, and physical therapists were allowed to resume elective appointments, subject to government guidelines. Employees must use protective equipment when social distancing is not possible.
  • Facilities for "low-risk" outdoor recreational activities were allowed to reopen throughout the month, beginning with boat launches and fishing (May 4), golf courses (May 15), and campgrounds (June 1). All are subject to social distancing and government guidelines.
    • Online campsite reservations opened on May 4, and are restricted to residents of Saskatchewan only.
2 May 19, 2020

(excluding La Loche)[61]
June 8, 2020 (La Loche)[62]

  • "Non-allowable business services" were allowed to resume public operations and business, subject to government guidelines that may affect how business is conducted.
  • Selected personal care services were allowed to resume business, including hair dressers, acupuncture, and registered massage therapists, subject to government guidelines. Employees must use protective equipment when social distancing is not possible.
3 June 8, 2020
(excluding La Loche)
  • Limit on participants in public indoor gatherings (i.e. outside of an allowable business) raised from 10 to 15.
  • Limit on participants in public outdoor gatherings raised from 10 to 30.[63]
  • Remaining non-essential personal care services were allowed to resume business, subject to government guidelines. Employees must use protective equipment when social distancing is not possible.
  • Restaurants and licensed establishments were allowed to resume offering dine-in service at half of their licensed capacity with social distancing. Self-service (including buffets) and recreational activities where social distancing is not possible (such as billiards, dance floors, video lottery, etc.).were prohibited.
  • Fitness facilities and gyms were allowed to reopen, subject to government guidelines.
  • Child care services may have up to 15 children per-space, and children must be limited to a single facility.
  • Beaches and outdoor playgrounds reopened on June 12.[64]
4.1 June 22, 2020

(excluding La Loche)

  • Limit on participants in public indoor gatherings raised from 15 to 30.
  • Outdoor recreation facilities were allowed to resume business, subject to government guidelines.[55]
  • Outdoor sports were allowed to resume, subject to government guidelines. Tournaments and interprovincial competitions are prohibited.
  • Campgrounds reopened to full capacity on June 26.[65]
4.2 June 29, 2020

(excluding La Loche)

  • Galleries, libraries, museums, and cinemas were allowed to reopen, subject to social distancing and government guidelines.[55][66]
4.2 July 6, 2020

(excluding La Loche)

  • Bars and restaurants may admit as many customers as they can while maintaining 2 metres (6.6 ft) of space between groups. They were also allowed to resume offering selected recreational activities (such as arcade games, billiards, darts, and video lottery; dance floors and karaoke remain prohibited).[14][67]
  • Indoor recreation and performing arts facilities were allowed to reopen, subject to government guidelines.[66][67]
  • Indoor sports were allowed to resume, subject to government guidelines. Tournaments and interprovincial competitions are prohibited.[66][67]
  • Casinos and bingo halls were allowed to resume operations on July 9, subject to social distancing and government guidelines.[67]
5 TBD
  • The province will consider lifting some of its long-term restrictions, including those on the size of gatherings.

The resumption of procedures at SHA facilities are on a separate timetable:[68] on May 5, the SHA announced a four-phase plan that began May 19 with increased availability of primary care, surgeries, and diagnostic imaging.[69] In order to handle potential surges tied to Phase 2, the emergency departments of 12 rural community hospitals were temporarily closed so that their staff may be reassigned to larger facilities, with the affected facilities converted to offering an "alternative level of care".[70] In June, the SHA announced plans to restore service at eight of these facilities, subject to status of the region and other factors.[71][62]

New cases, infection patterns (including management of cases imported from outside of the province), and the efficiency of contact tracing will be monitored by the government. The timetable for entry into phases 3, 4, and 5 will be dependent on the performance of the first two, and the province may roll back these decisions if needed.[54][53][52] On May 21, Moe tentatively announced that Phase 3 would be implemented on June 8, but that this target could vary by region, especially if they are "experiencing some challenges". It was also announced that the limit on participants in outdoor gatherings would be increased to 30 rather than 15 as originally announced (indoor gatherings would be capped at 15 until Phase 4).[63]

Most of Saskatchewan entered Phase 3 on June 8. La Loche was given authorization to enter Phase 2.[62] On June 16, it was announced that the first stage of Phase 4 would be implemented on June 22, allowing other forms of outdoor recreation facilities and sports to resume. On June 23, it was announced that portions of the second stage of Phase 4 would begin June 29, allowing indoor galleries, libraries, museums, and cinemas to open. Indoor recreation facilities, including sports, as well as casinos, were to be reopened at a later date within the next two weeks. Guidelines and requirements were also modified to mandate the wearing of face masks by employees of restaurants, gyms, and personal care facilities [65][72][55]

On June 30, it was announced that indoor sports, recreation, and performing arts facilities could reopen on July 6. At this time, bars and restaurants were also relieved from hard caps on their capacity, provided that social distancing can be maintained. They were also allowed to resume offering recreational activities and VLTs; the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) announced that it will raise its commissions to VLT operators from 15% to 25% through January 3, 2021 to compensate for the shutdown, in an effort to provide additional revenue to the hospitality industry.[73] Live entertainment at licensed establishments could resume July 16.[67]

Casinos reopened on July 9; no live table games were initially offered, and selected slot machines are disabled to enforce social distancing. The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) is requiring the wearing of face masks, and for patrons to check-in upon arrival (through either a name and phone number, or via their rewards card) for contact tracing purposes.[74][75][76] In October 2020, the SHA updated its guidance to allow some table games to resume, if cards or chips are not handled by players.[77]

Reception to the plan[edit]

Zambory deemed Moe's initial announcement on April 13 to be premature; she argued that it could encourage residents to stop practising social distancing or remaining at home, which could potentially lead to renewed spread.[78] Following the unveiling, Zambory was more positive towards the plan, stated that "there's no reason reopening the economy and keeping people in Saskatchewan safe from COVID-19 can't go in tandem", but displayed a continued concern that residents were "going to get far too comfortable and start forgetting all the good rules that we've worked so hard on."[79] NDP Leader Meili supported the announced plan, but called for more financial support to be provided to "support communities, individuals and families" impacted by the pandemic and business closures, and criticized Moe's optimistic declaration from his address as "pretend[ing] that this is over", as well as a lack of consultation with Saskatchewan's First Nations communities and other provinces over the plan.[80]

Child care services could not expand their capacity until phase 3, which faced criticism from Meili for potentially affecting the ability for parents to return to work in phase 2.[81] Premier Moe stated that this was "an ongoing conversation that we can have as we phase into these different approaches to ensure that people not only have the opportunity to go back to work but have the opportunity to access child care for their children."[82] On April 28, it was announced that the province would provide space at school-based child care facilities for the children of workers of businesses reopened in phase 1 and 2 (and later, phase 3)[55] of the plan.[83]

Concerns were raised over the impact of the La Loche outbreak on the plans; on April 27, Premier Moe described this as an isolated outbreak and not "throughout the North", but Zambory still showed concerns, stating that "it really is scary now that we're starting to really become overly comfortable".[84] On April 29, Moe officially announced that La Loche, as well as Lloydminster (due to an outbreak recently detected in the area), would be excluded from the implementation of phase 1 at this time.[60] On May 7, it was announced that Lloydminster would be allowed to enter phase 1 on May 11.[85]

On May 4, most of the province entered phase 1 of a re-opening plan to lift the majority of the prior restrictions, beginning with those surrounding medical clinics and outdoor recreation. Some restrictions remain in force indefinitely, including those on larger public gatherings, visitation of long-term care facilities, visitation of SHA facilities for non-compassionate reasons, and mandatory self-isolation after international travel.[52][53][54]

Second and third wave[edit]

On October 28, 2020, in response to a growing number of cases attributed to them, it was announced that nightclubs in Saskatoon would be required to prohibit alcohol consumption after 10:00 p.m., and close from 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. nightly. In addition, all nightclubs province-wide were restricted to static groups of six per-table.[14] On November 3, 2020, Saskatchewan announced new targeted health orders covering Prince Albert, Regina, and Saskatoon beginning November 6, which mandate the wearing of face masks by patrons of indoor public spaces. This order would last for at least 28 days. The maximum size of private gatherings at homes was also reduced to 10 province-wide.[86][87]

On November 13, a further series of public health measures were announced, effective November 16 and active for 28 days. The mask mandate was extended to all communities within the census metropolitan areas of Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert regardless of population, and any other community with a population above 5,000. Alcohol sales at bars and restaurants must end at 10 p.m nightly, and consumption must end after 11 p.m. Group fitness activities must be limited to a maximum of 8 people with three metres of physical distance between individuals, and hookah lounges are ordered closed.[88] The same day, the SHA announced that it will no longer publish advisories relating to possible COVID-19 exposures at public locations unless self-isolation is required, as residents should self-monitor for symptoms at all times.[89]

On November 17, it was announced that on November 19, the mask mandate would be extended to all communities province-wide regardless of population, private at-home gatherings would be further-limited to 5 people (including residents; if a household has five or more immediate members, visitors are prohibited), limousine and party bus services would be required to suspend operations, and that visitation of long-term care facilities would again be restricted.[90][17][91]

New restrictions were announced on November 25, taking effect November 27 through December 17; masks are mandatory at all schools, at gyms while exercising, and in all common areas of workplaces. Large retail stores (defined as those larger than 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) in size) are capped at 50% capacity, and must "enhance the expectation of mask use". Bars and restaurants are limited to four people per-table. Tables must be placed three metres apart if there is no impenetrable barrier between them (otherwise two metres), and contact information must be collected from all patrons for contact tracing purposes. Indoor entertainment and event venues such as arenas, banquet halls, cinemas, casinos, performing arts venues, and places of worship are limited to a capacity of 30 people. Indoor banquets and conferences, funeral receptions, and wedding receptions are also limited to 30 people, and are prohibited from serving food or drink. To prevent importation of infections into schools and workplaces, all group and team sports activities are suspended; children under 18 may still practice in groups of less than eight, but may not participate in games. Masks must be worn at all times, and all participants must maintain three metres of physical distance between each other.[92][15][93]

In response to the new limits, Amalgamated Charities voluntarily closed its five charity bingo halls in Regina, Saskatoon, and Moose Jaw, citing safety concerns and that the 30-person limit would make it difficult to break even on operating costs and allow for suitable prizes.[94] On December 10, legislation was introduced proposing that the maximum fine for a violation of health orders be increased to $7,500 for individuals and $100,000 for companies.[95]

On December 14, the current health orders were renewed through January 15, and new orders were announced. Effective December 17, public outdoor gatherings may not consist of more than 10 people, and private indoor gatherings with people from outside of one's immediate household are prohibited. Personal care facilities must reduce their capacity to 50% (staff inclusive), and beginning December 25, large retail stores are capped at 25% capacity, and all other retail stores must reduce their capacity to 50%. Casinos and bingo halls were closed effective December 19.[16] The present restrictions were to remain in effect through at least April 5, 2021.[96] On December 18, the province announced that it would remove a 150-person capacity limit on ski hills, subject to social distancing.[97]

On February 19, 2021, the province amended its prohibition of group sports activities. Multiple groups of children under 18 may practice in a single area (such as an ice surface) provided that five metres of physical distance is maintained between groups. All other restrictions still apply.[93]

On March 9, the province announced that a household may form a social bubble of up to 10 people from up to two other consistent households. Worship services will also be able to expand to 150 attendees or 30% capacity (whichever is lower) beginning March 19.[98] Due to an increase of cases involving variants of concern, Regina and surrounding communities would be excluded from the latter, and the province advised that residents over the age of 50 in the Regina area should reconsider expanding their household bubble.[99]

On March 23, the province announced special targeted health orders for Regina and surrounding communities to slow the spread of variants of concern. Indoor venues that had been limited to a capacity of 30 people (such as art galleries and museums, banquet halls and conference centres, bowling alleys, cinemas and theatres, and libraries), and dine-in bars and restaurants, have been ordered closed since March 28. Household social bubbles for private gatherings were also prohibited effective immediately.[100] On April 13, the SHA reinstated previously-lifted restrictions outside of the province, including the prohibition of all private household gatherings, and church services limited to 30 people beginning April 16.[101]

On April 26, the province announced amendments to some of its public health orders regarding sports (removing the age restriction for group practices; team competitions remain prohibited), performing arts (with dance moved from sports guidance to performing arts), and social distancing requirements for restaurants.[102] On May 3, the province passed the proposed increase in fines for violating a public health order. The Saskatchewan Party government threw out a proposed amendment by the NDP to make the organization of illegal protests subject to a $10,000 fine.[31] On May 17, bars and restaurants were allowed to re-open to in-person dining in Regina and surrounding communities.[103]

Lifting third wave restrictions[edit]

On May 4, Premier Moe announced a framework to begin lifting the current public health orders. It will be a three-step process, with each step based on specific vaccination targets. Each phase is to be implemented three weeks after the necessary targets are met.[104][105] On May 9, the province reported that 71% of adults 40 and over had received at least one vaccine dose, meeting the eligibility threshold for Step 1. Per the criteria, Premier Moe announced that the province was targeting implementation of Step 1 on May 30 (three weeks from May 9).[106]

On May 14, Premier Moe responded to similar recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which recommended that provinces begin lifting restrictions when at least 75% of all eligible residents have received one dose and 20% are fully vaccinated; as of May 14, 54% of all adults in Saskatchewan had received at least one dose, and 5% were fully vaccinated.[107] Moe stated that the province planned to stick to its own, already-announced criteria, citing that once it reaches its own Step 3 benchmark of 70%, "we’ll have three weeks to increase it beyond 70 per cent and we’ll be well into our second doses as well."[108]

On May 24, the province reported that at least 70% of adults 30 and over had received at least one dose, meeting the eligibility threshold for Step 2. Per the criteria, Premier Moe announced that the province was targeting implementation of Step 2 on June 20 (three weeks from May 30) [109] On May 25, the province announced that the lifting of restrictions for group outdoor sports would be moved up to Step 1, citing a relatively lower risk of transmission for outdoor activities.[110]

On June 1, Premier Moe announced that the province would lift its mask mandate and gathering restrictions during Step 3 once 70% of all residents 12 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.[28] On June 20, Saskatchewan entered Step 2, and the province reported that at least 70% of adults 18 and over had received at least one dose—meeting the eligibility threshold for Step 3—which will take effect on July 11, 2021 (three weeks from June 20). In addition, 69% of all residents 12 and over had received at least one vaccine dose.[111]

Phase Prerequisites Date implemented Restrictions in effect or eased
Existing
  • Private indoor gatherings involving individuals from outside of the immediate household are prohibited (since March 23 in Regina area, April 13 elsewhere), with exceptions for people who live alone (may meet with a household of less than five people).[100][101]
  • All public indoor gatherings (including worship services),[98][101] and various other indoor entertainment and event functions, are limited to 30 people.[16]
  • All public outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people.[16]
  • Face masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces and common areas of workplaces.[90]
  • Restaurants are limited to four people per-table. Indoors, tables must be placed three metres apart if there is no impenetrable barrier between them, and two if there is. Barriers are not required for outdoor dining, and tables can be placed a minimum of two metres apart.[102]
  • Alcohol sales at bars and restaurants must end at 10 p.m., and consumption must end after 11 p.m.
  • Group fitness activities must be limited to a maximum of eight people with three metres of physical distance between individuals. Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Group and team sports competitions (i.e. games) are prohibited.[102]
  • Athletes may practice in groups with three metres of physical distance between individuals. Masks must be worn at all times.[102]
  • Large retail stores are limited to 25% capacity, and 50% for small retail stores since December 25, 2020.[16]
  • Personal care services are limited to 50% capacity including staff.[16]
  • Casinos and bingo calls are closed since December 19, 2020.
Step 1
  • At least three weeks have passed since at least 70% of adults aged 40 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.
  • Vaccine eligibility reaches all adults 18 and older.
May 30, 2021
  • Public indoor gatherings limited to 30 people.
  • Public outdoor gatherings limited to 150 people.
  • Private gatherings limited to 10 people.
  • Restaurants limited to six people per-table, must maintain 2 metres (6.6 ft) of space between tables if there is no impenetrable barrier between them.
  • Places of worship limited to 30% capacity or 150 people (whichever is lower)
  • "Intense" group fitness activities allowed.
  • Restrictions on outdoor group sports lifted.
Step 2
  • At least three weeks have passed since at least 70% of adults aged 30 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.
  • At least three weeks have passed since Step 1 was implemented.
June 20, 2021
  • Public gatherings (indoor and outdoor) and private outdoor gatherings limited to 150 people.
  • Private indoor gatherings limited to 15 people.
  • Retail and personal care services no longer subject to hard capacity limits, but must still limit occupancy to maintain appropriate social distancing.
  • Restaurants no longer limited on table sizes, must still maintain 2 metres (6.6 ft) of space between tables if there is no impenetrable barrier between them.
  • Art galleries, bingo halls, casinos, event facilities, libraries, recreational facilities, and theatres limited to 150 people. Must enforce appropriate social distancing.
  • Restrictions on indoor group sports lifted.
Step 3
  • At least three weeks have passed since at least 70% of adults aged 18 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.
  • At least three weeks have passed since Step 2 was implemented.
July 11, 2021
  • "Most remaining restrictions" lifted.
  • Step 2 restrictions on the size of gatherings, and the indoor mask mandate will remain in force until 70% of all residents aged 12 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.[28]

Schools[edit]

The University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan voluntarily suspended in-person classes on March 16, and switched to online courses for the remainder of the semester.[112][113] On March 16, the province announced that all public schools would "wind down" over the week, and close indefinitely on March 20. Final grades were issued based on existing progress, and eligible Grade 12 students were able to graduate.[114][115] Daycares were capped at 8 children per teacher, and school-based facilities were reserved for the children of essential workers.[45][83] NDP Leader Meili criticized the approach, arguing that the children of health care workers mixed with others could spread COVID-19 among families.[83]

On May 7, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education stated that in-person classes would remain suspended through the end of the school year.[116] The University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan announced that the suspension of in-person classes would continue through fall semester.[117] On June 9, the province announced that it would allow public schools to resume in-person classes beginning in the new school year, with guidelines to be issued by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Chief Medical Officer. Contingencies will be offered in case in-person classes cannot be offered, or a student voluntarily declines to attend them.[118]

The "Safe Schools Plan" was released on August 4, 2020, which includes a four-level system for determining how classes will be held based on current situations, ranging from "as close to normal as possible" under enhanced safety protocols (Level 1), to mandating face masks (Level 2), reducing the capacity of schools via cohorts and alternate-day in-person classes (Level 3), and suspending in-person classes for all students (Level 4).[119][120] Most decisions will be left to individual school boards, which developed procedures aligned with the provincial guidance.[121][122]

NDP Education Critic Carla Beck felt that the Saskatchewan Safe Schools Plan was the worst back-to-school plan in the entire country, citing the lack of immediate requirements for face masks and/or reduced class sizes (as in other provinces), lack of additional funding being provided to schools to cover the costs of implementing the guidelines, and concerns that the guidelines had not been updated to account for recent increases in community transmission. Beck argued that "prior to this pandemic, classrooms were already overcrowded and understaffed", and that "this seems to be a plan that is setting our schools up to fail and if and when people get sick, then we’ll look at bringing in additional measures."[121][122] NDP Leader Meili felt that it lacked detail on what criteria would be used to determine an increase in level.[123] Minister of Education Gordon Wyant stated that the plan was open to adjustments if recommended by Shahab based on changing conditions, and that the province was ordering six million masks for use by students and faculty in case Level 2 measures need to be employed.[122]

On August 7, the province stated that "mask usage can be implemented under the direction of the Chief Medical Health Officer in consultation with Public Health either regionally or provincially, based on the most up-to-date situation and scientific information available".[124] The province released more specific guidance on August 12 for Phase 2 protocols, including recommending that masks be worn in "high-traffic areas" by students from Grade 4 to 12. The public and Catholic school boards of Regina and Saskatoon subsequently announced that they would mandate the wearing of masks by students when social distancing is not possible.[125]

On August 15, Premier Moe announced that the start of classes would be delayed by a week to September 8 (after Labour Day) to provide additional time for preparations by students and faculty, and that the province would develop a voluntary testing strategy oriented towards schools, and provide $40 million in additional funding to school divisions to cover costs related to safety measures.[126]

On September 10, Saskatchewan's universities announced that their suspension of most in-person classes will continue through the Winter 2021 semester, citing the then-lack of a vaccine and the potential impact of flu season.[127]

On September 28, Yorkton Regional High School became the first Saskatchewan school to temporarily suspend in-person classes due to cases associated with students and faculty of the school. The school believed that the cases were the result of community transmission off-campus, but that contact tracing of affected individuals and disinfection of the entire campus would occur.[128]

On November 6, all Regina Public Schools (RPS) high schools were moved to Level 3 (alternate-day learning), citing increasing numbers of cases tied to students in the area.[120] On November 13, in consort with other public health measures announced, the provincial government recommended that all high schools with over 600 students be moved to Level 3.[88]

As of November 25, at least 22 schools had reported at least two or more cases (defined as an "outbreak" by the SHA).[129][130] Shabab stated that sports were "the primary source of importation" for COVID-19 cases in schools, which led to the decision to temporarily suspend all group and team sport activity province-wide.[129]

On March 19, 2021, due to the spread of variants of concern in Regina and surrounding communities, RPS and Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) announced that they will both move to Level 4 and suspend in-person classes. RPS high schools suspended in-person classes March 24, while RPS elementary schools and all RCSD schools suspended in-person classes March 29. In-person classes were scheduled to tentatively return on April 12, following the spring break.[131] They were later joined by the University of Regina,[132] the Prairie Valley School Division (PVSD),[133] and the Prairie South School Division and Holy Trinity Catholic School Division for schools in the Moose Jaw region.[134]

On March 31, RCSD announced that it will extend its suspension until at least April 26, as the situation in Regina "remain[s] a concern for local health officials and especially in our schools."[24] PVSD, RPS, and the South East Cornerstone Public School Division also suspended classes through at least April 26, citing guidance from the local medical health officers.[25][26] On April 20, all Regina schools extended their closure through May 3.[135]

On April 30, teachers became eligible for vaccination as priority workers.[136] On May 3, classes resumed as scheduled in Regina, with grades 9-12 in RPS high schools, and larger RCSD schools at Level 3 (alternate-day learning).[137]

Quarantine rules and travel restrictions[edit]

Non-essential travel outside of the province has been discouraged, except for those commuting for work out-of-province (such as in border communities).[2][40] Effective March 20, 2020, residents returning from any international travel (excluding essential travellers such as working crews, transport workers and health care workers),[43] those who have tested positive for COVID-19,[138] and those identified as recent contacts of someone who had tested positive, are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days, with those breaking quarantine subject to a $2,000 fine.[43][3] Premier Moe cited concerns over those not following its previous self-isolation recommendations as justification for the legal measure.[45] This also became a federal requirement under the Quarantine Act effective March 26, 2020.[139]

On December 17, Shahab announced that the province would reduce the length of the mandatory self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19, from 14 days to 10 days. He cited "emerging evidence that shows that, for most people, they are not infectious 10 days after testing positive or the start of symptoms". Close contacts of COVID-19 cases must self-isolate for 14 days from the date of their exposure[140] (as it may still take up to 14 days for symptoms to develop after exposure), as well as those returning from international travel (as required by federal law).[141] If the positive case involves a variant of concern, the entire immediate household will automatically be considered a close contact and must self-isolate for 14 days from their last exposure as well, meaning that the entire household (including the original patient) may be required to self-isolate for up to 21 days.[140]

Health care and testing[edit]

On April 15, 2020, the SHA began to mandate that employees of all of its facilities wear masks and undergo twice-daily temperature checks. An online self-screening website was established to provide guidance to employees before they begin their shifts.[142] Effective April 28, employees of long-term care facilities are cohorted, and are prohibited from working at more than one facility in order to prevent spread. Individual facilities may be exempted by request if they are deemed unable to maintain adequate staff.[143][144]

On April 13, Premier Moe announced that the province had begun to deploy around twelve mobile testing machines, beginning in Meadow Lake and Prince Albert, to allow tests to be processed on-site in around four hours. Moe stated that the province aimed to perform 1,500 tests per-day by the end of April.[145] Following their approval by Health Canada, the province purchased new rapid testing kits by the Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience. However, on May 3, these kits were voluntarily recalled by the company after being restricted to research use only by Health Canada, due to "concerns regarding the efficacy of the proprietary swab".[146][147]

By late-April, the amount of testing performed began to decline; SHA CEO Scott Livingstone stated on April 22 that they were "just not seeing people show up with symptoms of COVID-19", and there had also been a decline in calls to HealthLine 811. Despite this, Livingstone did state that their overall testing capacity had surpassed the previously-stated target of 1,500 per-day.[148][149]

On April 28, the SHA announced that it would expand its testing to include more involving asymptomatic patients.[150] This will also include testing of long-term care and personal care residents upon admission and readmission.[151] On May 14, the SHA announced that it would expand proactive testing of patients being admitted to acute care, asymptomatic immunocompromised patients (such as cancer patients), health workers who work with immunocompromised patients, and workers of "high-volume" operations (such as factories), and "active case finding" in populations such as First Nations communities.[152][153] On May 20, the SHA announced that tests would become available by-request to any resident who works outside of home.[154]

Door-to-door testing was employed in the La Loche area, with over 800 households tested through the conclusion of the program on May 24. Northern Health Officer Zayed described the scheme as having led to "more understanding, communication, engagement, [and] solidarity" between the SHA and local leaders.[155]

On July 7, the SHA began to lift restrictions on visitation, allowing residents of acute and long-term care patients to have one family or support visitor at a time, and maternal service, critical care, and palliative or end of life patients to have two.[156]

On July 13, the SHA announced that testing would become available by-request to all residents.[157] The change led to a major increase in demand for tests: on July 23, NDP Leader Meili urged the SHA to increase its testing capacity so it could deal with a reported backlog, and to be more transparent about average wait times for testing.[158][159] As of July 27, Saskatchewan had lagged in testing per-capita in comparison to other provinces.[58]

On August 31, Livingstone told CJME's John Gormley that the province was aiming to increase its capacity to 4,000 tests per-day in preparation for the return to school, that the province had never exceeded its test capacity, and that it was focusing on easing access to testing.[160] Two drive-through testing sites in Regina and Saskatoon were subsequently announced September 4.[161]

Saskatchewan joined the national COVID Alert Exposure Notification app on September 18.[162]

On February 25, 2021, the province announced that it would deploy 700,000 rapid antigen testing kits in various settings, including testing of asymptomatic individuals, as well as points of care.[163] On March 1, 2021, the province announced that in order to enhance its ability to monitor outbreaks involving SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory had been validated to perform whole genome sequencing. It has the capacity to sequence 192 samples per-week. Previously, the province had to send test samples to the National Microbiology Laboratory at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg to perform this process. The province will continue to also send 120 samples to Winnipeg per-week, in addition to sequencing samples locally.[164]

On March 22, 2021, the province announced that 100,000 rapid antigen tests would be distributed to schools.[165]

Vaccination[edit]

COVID-19 vaccination in Saskatchewan began on December 15, 2020, with the distribution of doses to key frontline health workers. Saskatchewan's rollout has since been based primarily based on age groups ("age-based sequencing")[166] and clinical vulnerability, as health officials consider age to be the main risk factor.[167][168] The province later expanded eligibility to other first responders and key workers,[169] as well as the employees of pharmacies and grocery stores distributing the vaccines.[166]

In late-March 2021, the province launched a public service campaign to promote vaccination, "Stick it to COVID", which features testimonials by frontline workers and business owners who had received vaccinations.[170]

As of May 14, 2021, Saskatchewan has administered over 550,000 vaccine doses.[171]

Availability[edit]

On November 19, 2020, Health Minister Paul Merriman stated that the province expected to be allocated 160,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the federal government from its initial purchase of six million (sourced from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, enough for three million patients on two doses), with distribution expected to begin with those at the highest risk (seniors and health care workers) in the first quarter of 2021.[172][173]

On November 25, Premier Moe criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for suggesting that Canada might not receive COVID-19 vaccine doses as quickly as other countries due to a lack of domestic production capability. He stated that the statements were "quite troubling" and "opposite of the assurances the Prime Minister has been offering us as Canadians for a number of weeks and month or two now", asking "why would the federal government sign contracts that put Canada and Canadians at the back of the line? Will the vaccine be distributed to provinces on a per-capita basis as we’ve been told would happen? And most importantly, when will we start to receive the vaccine in our respective provinces?"[174][175]

In a November 29 interview with CTV's Question Period, Premier Moe argued that the federal government needed to "very ambitiously and aggressively procure some additional vaccines in a tighter timeframe", since "we're going to treat about less than 10 per cent of Canadians prior to March. The U.S. is planning for treating just under 10 per cent of Americans by the end of December." Federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc defended Canada's vaccine distribution strategy, stating that "we will have a very effective, very well-planned rollout system, in partnership with provinces and territories to deliver that vaccine safely and effectively to Canadians. So the idea that there's a lag time of months and months and so on, is inaccurate."[176] In an appearance the same morning on Global's The West Block, LeBlanc stated that Canada was "certainly in the top 5" in terms of vaccine evaluability, and stated that the initial six million doses would begin distribution in January 2021.[177]

On December 9, 2020, the SHA announced its rollout plan for the Pfizer vaccine (approved the same day by Health Canada).[178] Two health care workers were the first to receive the vaccine on December 15.[179] The SHA began an initial pilot phase, where the vaccine was administered to key frontline health workers in Regina. A second shipment was expected to be received by late-December to early-January. Phase 1 focused primarily on health care workers and high-risk populations (including the elderly and remote First Nations communities). The second phase was expected to begin in April 2021, with wider availability to the general public via public health clinics.[178][180]

The province began to administer the Moderna MRNA-1273 vaccine in early-January 2021, with an initial focus on Northern Saskatchewan due to surges in the region, and it being relatively easier to transport in comparison to the Pfizer vaccine.[181][182] On February 9, 2021, the SHA announced details surrounding the second phase. Distribution will be prioritised based on age and underlying conditions. The province expected to distribute the vaccines through various channels, including clinics, doctors, and pharmacies.[168]

As of February 27, 2021, the province had administered over 75,000 doses; one third of them were the second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.[183] On March 2, 2021, the province announced that at least 91% of its long-term care residents had received at least one dose of the two vaccines.[184][185] On March 3, 2021, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) issued a strong recommendation that the second dose of these vaccines be administered four months after the first dose in order to maximize availability.[186] Shahab stated that with this change, the province could see "see most of our population 18 and older potentially getting the first dose by June."[184][185]

Further details for Phase 2 were announced on March 9, 2021, with the province stating that availability would be scheduled by age groups from April through June, beginning with residents 60 and older, and concluding with adults below the age of 30 by June 14.[167] On March 14, the province expanded booking of appointments to residents 70 and older, as well as residents of the NSAD who are 50 and older.[187] On March 15, the province opened a drive-through clinic in Regina to administer the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a pilot open exclusively to residents aged 64, and key workers eligible under Phase 1.[188] By March 16, availability had expanded to residents age 60 and older.[189]

On March 18, Saskatchewan officially launched Phase 2 of vaccination; adults 67 and older, and anyone who is "clinically extremely vulnerable”.[190] The province also announced that any worker receiving a vaccination is entitled to at least three hours of paid leave ("Special Vaccination Leave") so they can attend their appointment.[191] The Regina drive-through clinic exhausted its first supply of vaccine on March 22.[192]

On March 23, Premier Moe announced that the province was expecting to receive another 45,000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of the month as part of the next federal allocation. Moe stated that the batch would be administered at the Regina drive-through clinic, as well as clinics in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, and Yorkton.[192] On March 29, pursuant to recommendations by the NACI, Saskatchewan suspended planned administration of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine to patients below the age of 55.[193] The province held several new vaccination clinics in Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton over the Easter long weekend, and re-opened the drive-through clinic in Regina.[194]

On April 6, in response to calls by doctors to prioritize essential workers for vaccination due to the ongoing outbreaks of variants of concern, both Health Minister Merriman and Premier Moe argued that age-based sequencing was the "most efficient and quickest way" to administer the vaccines, and that deviating from this approach would slow distribution. They also cited the NACI recommendation as having been a "larger barrier" to the program.[195]

At a symposium by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers the next day, Premier Moe stated that the province was considering "setting aside the age limit just to focus some vaccines on those folks that, in this [energy] industry and other industries that have worked safely throughout and for that we are forever grateful." He clarified the statement to the media, stating that this was in reference to possibly using mobile vaccination clinics at large workplaces when available, and not a general exception to the strictly age-based rollout of vaccines.[196] Shahab projected that the rollout could be ahead of schedule, stating that eligibility could reach residents in their 30's by the end of April, and all adults by mid-May.[197] As of April 8, Saskatchewan led the country in vaccination per-capita,[198] but it was later surpassed by Quebec.[199]

On April 9, the province expanded booking to those 55 and older, and the Regina drive-through clinic was switched to administering the Pfizer vaccine for residents aged 53 or 54.[200] The next day, the clinic expanded to residents 52–54,[201] and 50–54 by April 12.[202] The same day, the province announced an expansion of vaccine distribution to essential workers: unused doses from Phase 1 will be administered to health care workers that were not covered under Phase 1. The province stated that 67% of workers originally eligible under Phase 1 had received their vaccination. The province will also vaccinate other first responders via mobile clinics. During the week of April 26, the province began to trial distribution of the vaccines via pharmacies; they will offer appointments for the public under the age-based sequencing framework, while the employees of the pharmacy (and, if situated within a grocery store, the non-pharmacy staff of the store as well) would also be eligible for vaccination.[166]

On April 13, the Regina drive-in clinic expanded to age 49, while bookings expanded to those 52 and older, NSAD residents 40 and older, clinically-vulnerable young adults aged 16 or 17, as well as those who are pregnant.[203] On April 16, the age minimum for bookings and drive-in clinics was lowered to age 48.[204] On April 18, the Regina drive-through clinic closed until May 2 after it exhausted its supply.[205] Following moves by other provinces, on April 20 Saskatchewan announced that it would extend eligibility of the AstraZeneca vaccine to residents 40 and over beginning April 28, and that it will prioritize other frontline workers such as healthcare workers, teachers, police and fire departments, corrections, and border officers.[169]

On April 27, eligibility was lowered to age 42, and 30 in the NSAD.[206] On April 30, eligibility extended to residents aged 40 and older and priority workers.[207] Regina's drive-through clinic reopened May 2; there were reports of a lineup as early as 3:30 a.m. that morning.[208] On May 3, the province announced an expansion to the pharmacy distribution pilot, and that eligibility would be extended to age 37 in most of the province, and all adults 18 and older in the NSAD, beginning May 4.[209][210] On May 8, the province surpassed 500,000 doses issued.[106] Citing concerns surrounding supply, the province restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine to administering outstanding second doses only.[211]

Following approval by Health Canada, the province plans to begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to adolescents 12 and older beginning May 20, including plans to offer vaccine programs at schools by early-June.[212] On May 14, the SHA reported that a case of post-vaccination embolic and thrombotic events had been diagnosed in a patient who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, and that the province was investigating issuing different vaccines as a second dose.[211]

Locally-developed vaccine[edit]

In December 2020, Health Canada approved clinical trials for a new COVID-19 subunit vaccine developed by the University of Saskatchewan Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization–International Vaccine Centre (VIDO–InterVac), which were expected to begin in January 2021 at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Halifax as a combined phase 1/phase 2 study.[213][214]

Local responses[edit]

On March 18, a Sangster's health store in Lawson Heights, Saskatoon was closed after multiple visits by a customer who stated that she had recently returned from international travel to Hawaii, and that multiple passengers on the flight had felt ill. The store's local owner criticized the customer for breaking recommended self-quarantine, even though she had displayed no symptoms herself.[215]

On March 20, Regina Transit and Saskatoon Transit suspended fares for all bus service, but with reduced service.[216][217][218]

In early April, Restaurants Canada reported that 25,000 restaurant jobs have been lost in Saskatchewan since March 1. It also reported that approximately 10% of restaurants in Canada have closed permanently, and estimated that another 18% would close if the situation has not changed in a month's time. Local restaurant operators expressed concerns whether they would be able to re-open.[219]

Lloydminster falls directly on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. Under the Lloydminster Charter, the entire city is stated to be subject to the Saskatchewan Public Health Act,[220] and the city has thus followed Saskatchewan health orders rather than those of Alberta.[221][222]

During a media event on August 13, 2020, Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere suggested that the city may introduce a mandate for the wearing of face masks within public spaces, but stated his preference for the province to do so as it would be "easier and simpler for people to understand and administer."[223]

First Nations[edit]

Métis Nation—Saskatchewan (MN–S) declared a province-wide state of emergency on April 18.[224] The organization stated that "jurisdictional limbo" between the provincial and federal governments had hampered their ability to prepare for COVID-19.[225]

On September 18, MN–S president Glen McCallum tested positive for COVID-19:[226] he had received a test as a precaution on September 15 due to his role.[227] The Hawood Inn in Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan was forced to close for disinfection after McCallum attended MN–S meetings at the hotel between the time of the test and the result; its owner accused McCallum of not following provincial health guidelines, including not self-isolating while awaiting the result, not wearing a mask, and having attempted to remove social distancing from a seating layout during the Friday meeting.[228]

MN–S stated that McCallum was asymptomatic and not specifically told to self-isolate, and accused "individuals" and "politically-motivated gossip sites" of "engaging in unfounded rumour-mongering and finger-pointing during a serious public health crisis". McCallum apologized for his actions and stated that he would follow health guidelines going forward.[228]

Municipal orders with measures contrary to provincial measures[edit]

In March 2020, the municipal governments of Gravelbourg and Regina declared their own states of emergency with stricter restrictions than those enforced by the province. Regina announced an intent to ban all public meetings larger than 5 people or more (outside of home, workplaces, or as part of essential services), and order the closure of retail stores in specific categories to in-person shopping (including clothing, furniture, games, sporting goods, and toys) effective March 23.[229] Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere argued that Saskatchewan's initial restrictions were not strict enough, arguing that meetings of 50 people were too large to avoid possible community transmission, and that restaurants and bars should have been ordered to close rather than limit capacity.[230]

Gravelbourg similarly ordered that all businesses be closed to the public for 14 days (delivery and curbside pickup would still be allowed, and there were special operating requirements planned for the local Co-op store), and that only a maximum of five employees could be in a building at any one time.[231]

On March 22, the province stated that it would take steps to ensure that its emergency measures maintain precedence over municipal orders that include "contrary standards", therefore vetoing the announced orders.[232] Minister of Government Relations Lori Carr explained that "during this time of great uncertainty, it is of the utmost importance that we provide certainty to Saskatchewan residents and make every effort to minimize confusion", and cited Regina's attempts to close retail stores as an example of a restriction where provincial decisions take precedence.[233][234]

Impact[edit]

Prior to the announcement of Saskatchewan's first presumptive case, the 2020 Juno Awards in Saskatoon were cancelled by their organizers on March 12.[235][236] The Country Thunder Saskatchewan music festival in Craven has been cancelled since 2020.[237][238] Canada's Farm Show (2020, 2021) and Canadian Western Agribition (2020) in Regina were canceled and replaced by a virtual event.[239][240][241] The biannual Saskatchewan Oil & Gas Show has been postponed to 2022.[242]

On sports[edit]

On March 13, 2020, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) season was halted and canceled, pursuant to the suspension of all sanctioned activity by Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).[243][244][245]

On May 20, the CFL announced that the 108th Grey Cup festivities in Regina had been cancelled (with Regina's Mosaic Stadium therefore awarded the 110th Grey Cup in 2022), and the game (if held) would use home advantage based on regular season performance.[246] Premier Moe endorsed interest by the city of Regina in hosting the CFL's western teams as part of a proposed "hub" model if the 2020 CFL season were to go on with such a format. The league would name Winnipeg as its tentative hub city for all games in July 2020,[247][248] but cancelled the season permanently in August 2020 due to various financial factors.[249]

The 2020 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Lloydminster were initially postponed to 2021. On December 21, 2020, it was announced that the Games had been cancelled in full. Lloydminster will receive right of first refusal for the 2024 Games.[250][251]

On June 8, 2020, Canada West and U Sports cancelled all sanctioned university athletics events for the remainder of the calendar year.[252] In October 2020, U Sports cancelled all remaining national championships for the 2020-21 academic year, and Canada West cancelled all sanctioned basketball, volleyball, hockey, women's rugby sevens, and wrestling for the 2020-21 academic year.[253][254]

Team sports were allowed to resume in Phase 4 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan.[72] Tournaments are prohibited,[72] as well as inter-provincial travel for the purpose of participating in sporting events. This includes both participants entering the province, as well as Saskatchewan residents exiting the province.[255] Hockey games were given permission to admit up to 150 spectators.[256] On November 12, the Flin Flon Bombers of the SJHL suspended operations until at least 2021, due to the enactment of "Code Red" restrictions in Manitoba ordering the closure of all non-essential facilities province-wide (including its arena and offices, which are subject to Manitoba jurisdiction).[257]

On November 24, 2020, Fred Sasakamoose—one of the first indigenous NHL players—died at 86 from complications of COVID-19.[258]

On November 25, amid increasing cases tied to sport and recreation, it was announced that all group and team sports activities would be suspended from November 27.[92]

In January 2021, Saskatchewan officials prohibited Curlsask from holding its provincial SaskTel Tankard and Saskatchewan Scotties Tournament of Hearts championships in a "bubble", pursuant to the current prohibition of sports. Its representatives for the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier were selected based on season performance in 2019–20 and 2020–21.[259] On January 21, 2021, veteran Saskatchewan sports broadcaster Warren "Woody" Woods died at 66 from complications of COVID-19 [260]

On February 13, 2021, the WHL announced that it will hub its East division at the Brandt Centre to conduct a 24-game regular season.[261] Pursuant to the continued prohibition of team sports, it has been considered unlikely that minor hockey programs will be allowed to resume and complete their 2020–21 season.[262]

On February 25, 2021, after having also cancelled its 2020 season, Marquis Downs cancelled its 2021 horse racing season. Prairieland Park cited that current health orders and travel restrictions made it logistically impossible to conduct racing in the province this year.[263] Saskatchewan's racing community raised concerns that this would have a long-term impact on horse racing in the province.[264] The following month, Marquis Downs ended racing operations permanently, with the announcement that it was being considered as the site of a soccer-specific stadium for a provisional Canadian Premier League expansion club.[265][266]

On March 23, 2021, the SJHL announced that Saskatchewan officials had rejected a return-to-play proposal that would have involved hub cities, and that the 2020–21 season was therefore cancelled.[267] On March 25, 2021, all Saskatchewan teams opted out of the 2021 Western Canadian Baseball League season; it will be played solely by most of the league's Alberta-based teams with Canadian players only.[268]

Statistics[edit]

Regional distribution[edit]

The following table summarizes the number of persons with COVID-19 in Saskatchewan as of June 18, 2021.[269] As of January 26, 2021, a patient is counted as having "recovered" if they have not been hospitalized and it has been 10 days since their positive test, even if they are still experiencing non-infectious symptoms.[270]

On August 4, 2020, the province re-aligned its data to use 13 zones instead of 6, which are themselves divided into a total of 32 sub-regions.[271]

Zone Cases[a] Active Cases[b] Hospitalizations[c] Recovered Deaths
Inpatient ICU
Far North West
2,591 31 1 0 2,531 30
Far North Central
358 0 0 0 355 3
Far North East
2,209 15 0 0 2,176 18
North West
4,620 83 10 0 4,463 74
North Central
4,451 79 8 1 4,316 56
North East
1,595 19 0 0 1,564 12
Saskatoon
11,463 190 26 6 11,158 115
Central West
810 35 0 0 769 6
Central East
2,385 35 2 0 2,331 19
Regina
11,958 148 20 3 11,658 152
South West
1,118 22 0 0 1,090 6
South Central
1,896 58 4 0 1,815 23
South East
2,704 35 0 0 2,621 48
Total
48,327 763 71 10 47,002 562
  1. ^ Cumulative total of presumptive and confirmed cases.
  2. ^ Active case count may be an overestimate. Active cases are calculated by subtracting deaths and recovered cases from total cases.
  3. ^ Number of people currently hospitalized.

Variants of concern[edit]

Zone Screened Sequenced
Lineage B.1.1.7 Lineage B.1.351 Lineage P.1
Far North West
35 0 0 0
Far North East
2 0 0 0
North West
89 2 0 0
North Central
64 12 9 0
North East
6 0 0 0
Saskatoon
497 30 0 0
Central West
71 9 0 0
Central East
185 56 0 0
Regina
2,990 1,475 0 0
South West
118 25 0 5
South Central
404 242 0 0
South East
500 192 0 0
Total (including pending)
5,027 2,046 9 5


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sask. dentists asked to consider limiting work to emergencies only". CBC News. March 17, 2020. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "COVID-19: Sask. declares state of emergency, additional measures, after announcing 8 new cases". CTV News Regina. March 18, 2020. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "New restrictions announced as Sask. COVID-19 cases rise to 6". 980 CJME. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Quenneville, Guy; Hunter, Adam (March 30, 2020). "COVID-19 in Sask: Province marks 'sad milestone' of first 2 deaths". CBC News. Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  5. ^ "4 new COVID-19 cases in Sask., province encourages downloading SaskAlert app". CTV News Regina. April 6, 2020. Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  6. ^ "Saskatchewan reaches 260 COVID-19 cases, 7 new recoveries". CTV News Regina. April 7, 2020. Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Sask. now has more COVID-19 recoveries than active cases". CTV News Regina. April 11, 2020. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "2 new coronavirus cases, 14 more recoveries reported in Saskatchewan". Global News. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  9. ^ "1 new COVID-19 case in Sask., 9 new recoveries". CTV News Regina. April 14, 2020. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  10. ^ "Saskatchewan to 'cautiously' reopen from the coronavirus pandemic in 5 phases". Global News. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "Why Saskatchewan's northwest became a COVID-19 hot spot". The Star Phoenix. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  12. ^ Smith, Marc (August 28, 2020). "Sask. has lowest active COVID-19 cases per capita in western Canada". CTV News Regina. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Lozinski, Peter (October 9, 2020). "Mayor, northern chief calling for charges against organizers of 'superspreader' event". Prince Albert Daily Herald. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  14. ^ a b c "Coronavirus outbreaks at Saskatoon nightclubs force government to restrict alcohol consumption". Global News. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Province unveils new restrictions for sports, restaurants, gaming venues, more". 980 CJME. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "'Different kind of Christmas': Private gatherings further restricted in new Sask. COVID-19 measures". CTV News Regina. December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "240 new COVID-19 cases in Sask.; active cases surpass 2,000". CTV News Regina. November 17, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  18. ^ "Sask. reports 10 COVID-19 deaths, 208 new cases over past 2 days". CTV News Regina. December 29, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  19. ^ "Sask. reports 10 more COVID-19 deaths, bringing total to 151". thestarphoenix. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "COVID-19 in Sask: A look back on the deadliest month of the pandemic". CTV News Regina. February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  21. ^ "70-80% of recently screened COVID-19 cases in Regina likely Variants of Concern: SHA". CTV News Regina. March 12, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  22. ^ "Sask. reports 3 more confirmed cases of B.1.1.7 variant, 97 new COVID-19 cases". CTV News Regina. March 8, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  23. ^ "Regina restaurants to close Sunday, private gatherings banned under new public health orders". CBC News. March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Remote learning extended to April 23 for Regina Catholic Schools". CTV News Regina. March 31, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  25. ^ a b "Regina schools, Prairie Valley School Division extend online learning through April 23". CTV News Regina. April 1, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Kraft, Sabrina. "Holy Family, Cornerstone schools move to Level 4 until April 23". Weyburn Review. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  27. ^ "COVID-19: Saskatchewan reports 3rd lowest daily infections of 2021". Global News. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  28. ^ a b c "Public health orders – including mandatory masking – could lift as early at July 11 in Sask". CTV News Regina. June 1, 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  29. ^ "Saskatchewan premier signs order enforcing measures protecting against spread of COVID-19". Global News. Archived from the original on March 21, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  30. ^ "COVID-19: Complying with Saskatchewan's Public Health Orders – What it Means for Individuals and Businesses". MLT Aikins - Western Canada's Law Firm. April 2, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Province increases maximum fine for breaking public health order". CTV News Regina. May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  32. ^ "No spring election: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe". Global News. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  33. ^ "COVID-19 live updates: Second presumptive case found in Sask". Regina Leader Post. Archived from the original on March 14, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  34. ^ "Gatherings of 250 people or more banned in Sask. as second presumptive COVID-19 case confirmed". CTV News Saskatoon. March 13, 2020. Archived from the original on March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  35. ^ a b "Hospital visitor restrictions, casinos closing part of coronavirus prevention". Global News. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  36. ^ a b ""Saskatchewan officials provide COVID-19 update after second presumptive case found in province", CBC News, March 13, 2020". Archived from the original on March 14, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  37. ^ ""Sask. government postpones full budget, will release spending plans Wednesday", Adam Hunter, CBC News, March 17, 2020". Archived from the original on March 21, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  38. ^ Solomon, Michaela (March 17, 2020). "COVID-19: Sask. introduces unpaid job protected leave". CTV News. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  39. ^ ""Saskatchewan legislative sitting abruptly adjourned amid COVID-19 pandemic", Adam Hunter, CBC News, March 19, 2020". Archived from the original on March 21, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  40. ^ a b c d "Saskatchewan declares state of emergency as coronavirus concerns grow". Global News. Archived from the original on March 18, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  41. ^ "Casinos in Regina and Moose Jaw closing, SIGA venues also closing". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. March 18, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  42. ^ Kliem, Theresa. "Union calls on Sask. to allow more Crown staff to work from home".
  43. ^ a b c d "Mandatory self-isolation after travel now law as Sask. announces 6 more COVID-19 cases". CTV News Regina. March 20, 2020. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  44. ^ a b Quenneville, Guy (March 20, 2020). "COVID-19 in Sask: Premier threatens international travellers who don't self-isolate with arrest, fines". Archived from the original on March 21, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  45. ^ a b c d "'This is now the law': Here are the new measures announced in Sask". CTV News Regina. March 20, 2020. Archived from the original on March 21, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  46. ^ a b "14 new COVID-19 cases in Sask. as province limits gatherings to 10". CTV News Regina. March 25, 2020. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  47. ^ "Government Clarifies Allowable Business Services, Limits Gatherings To 10 Person Maximum". Government of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  48. ^ "Sask. extends state of emergency for two more weeks". CTV News Regina. April 1, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  49. ^ Ellis, Brendan (April 18, 2020). "Here's how to worship safely amid COVID-19". Regina. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  50. ^ Hill, Katherine (April 13, 2020). "2 new COVID-19 cases in Sask., premier starting on plan to 're-open' province". CTV News Regina. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  51. ^ "2 new coronavirus cases, 14 more recoveries reported in Saskatchewan". Global News. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  52. ^ a b c d e "First phase of re-opening Sask. economy to begin on May 4". CTV News Regina. April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  53. ^ a b c d e "Saskatchewan to start reopening from the coronavirus pandemic on May 4". Global News. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  54. ^ a b c d e "Re-Open Saskatchewan". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  55. ^ a b c d e "Re-open Sask. plan's fourth phase to be rolled out in two parts". CTV News Regina. June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  56. ^ "No lockdown should 2nd wave of COVID-19 hit Sask.: Chief medical health officer". CBC News. June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  57. ^ "If necessary, Saskatchewan may make masks mandatory". Regina. July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  58. ^ a b "Premier warns of continued high COVID-19 case numbers in Sask". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  59. ^ "Sask. makes temporary remote witnessing legislation permanent". CTV News Regina. August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  60. ^ a b "Saskatchewan records 6th COVID-19-related death, cluster identified in Lloydminster". Global News. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  61. ^ "Here's what is included in Phase 2 of Saskatchewan's reopening plan". CBC News. May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  62. ^ a b c "Saskatchewan reports 2 deaths, 4 new coronavirus cases". Global News. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  63. ^ a b "This is when the province plans to move forward with phase three of its reopening plan". CTV News Regina. May 21, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  64. ^ "Here's when playgrounds, beaches are set to reopen in Sask". CTV News Regina. June 8, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  65. ^ a b "Reopening Sask.: Phase 4 Part 2 to begin on June 29". CTV News Regina. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  66. ^ a b c "Saskatchewan reports 11 new COVID-19 cases; Phase 4.2 to start Monday". 650 CKOM. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  67. ^ a b c d e "Saskatchewan moving to final Phase 4 reopening schedule in July". Global News. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  68. ^ "Reopen Saskatchewan plan phase one begins with return of some medical services". CTV News Regina. May 4, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  69. ^ Solomon, Michaela (May 5, 2020). "Health care services to resume in phases, Sask. Health Authority says". CTV News Regina. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  70. ^ Young, Matt (May 11, 2020). "Rural Sask. ER department closes as health authority shuffles staff as part of COVID-19 response". Saskatoon. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  71. ^ "Sask. announces two more COVID-19-related deaths". 650 CKOM. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  72. ^ a b c "Reopening Sask.: Phase 4 to begin on June 22, province says". CTV News Regina. June 16, 2020. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  73. ^ "Saskatchewan temporarily increasing VLT commissions due to coronavirus". Global News. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  74. ^ "Indoor rinks, pools, arts events can open in Saskatchewan on July 6, province says". CBC News. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  75. ^ "Sask. casinos, bingo halls set to reopen Thursday". CTV News Regina. July 7, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  76. ^ "'We're ready for it:' Sask. casinos gearing up to reopen on July 9". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  77. ^ "Table games back at Casino Regina; Show Lounge still closed". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  78. ^ "Coronavirus: Nurses' union urges premier to rethink 'reopening Saskatchewan'". Global News. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  79. ^ Woodward, Laura (April 23, 2020). "Sask nurses' union head worries people will get 'too comfortable' amid plans to re-open the economy". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  80. ^ Lynn, Josh (April 23, 2020). "Sask. NDP leader says talk of reopening positive but families, businesses already hurt by closures need help". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  81. ^ "NDP raises childcare concerns for workers in 'Reopen Saskatchewan' plan". Global News. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  82. ^ Pasuik, Emily (April 25, 2020). "Lack of child care could keep some Sask. parents home during reopening plan". CBC News. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  83. ^ a b c "COVID-19 live updates: Financial aid and further travel restrictions introduced for northern Saskatchewan". Regina Leader-Post. April 30, 2020. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  84. ^ "La Loche remains epicentre of new Saskatchewan COVID-19 cases". Regina Leader-Post. April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  85. ^ "Lloydminster set to start reopening Monday, as province says hospital outbreak stable". CTV News Saskatoon. May 7, 2020. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  86. ^ "COVID-19: Mandatory masking coming for Sask.'s three largest cities". The Star Phoenix. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  87. ^ News, CJME. "Sask. makes masks mandatory in indoor places in Regina, Saskatoon and P.A." 980 CJME. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  88. ^ a b "WATCH LIVE: Sask. extends mask mandate, alcohol curfew, schools move to level 3". CTV News Regina. November 13, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  89. ^ "'COVID-19 is everywhere': Sask. health authority to scale back alerts about potential exposures at businesses". CTV News Saskatoon. November 13, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  90. ^ a b "COVID-19 in Sask.: Masks mandatory across province, indoor gatherings reduced to 5". CTV News Regina. November 17, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  91. ^ "'The uncertainty is great': Sask. reviewing guidelines for restaurants, gyms, places of worship". CTV News Regina. November 17, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  92. ^ a b "Coronavirus: New Saskatchewan public health measures for restaurants, sports teams". Global News. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  93. ^ a b "Sask. youth sports guidelines loosened to allow more participants at practices". CTV News Regina. February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  94. ^ "Saskatchewan bingo halls close due to COVID-19". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. November 30, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  95. ^ "Saskatchewan proposes massive jump in fines for non-compliance with emergency orders". Global News. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  96. ^ "156 new COVID-19 cases in Sask, 66 variant cases confirmed". CTV News Regina. March 16, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  97. ^ "More Saskatchewan ski hills opening after restrictions lifted". Global News. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  98. ^ a b "Sask. private gathering restrictions increased to 10 people". CTV News Regina. March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  99. ^ "Worship service restrictions remain in place for Regina and area". Global News. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  100. ^ a b "Sask. bans private gatherings in Regina, restaurants to move to take-out only". CTV News Regina. March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  101. ^ a b c "Sask. limits household and worship gatherings for entire province". CTV News Regina. April 13, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  102. ^ a b c d "Reopen Sask.: Changes for graduations, sports, restaurants included in update". Regina. April 28, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  103. ^ "Regina restaurants reopen for in-person dining". CTV News Regina. May 17, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  104. ^ "3-step plan to relax COVID-19 rules in Sask. an 'incentive' to get vaccinated, province says". CBC News. May 4, 2021. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  105. ^ "Re-Opening Roadmap: A Gradual, Measured Approach to Easing Public Health Measures | News and Media". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  106. ^ a b "Sask. clears first reopening plan milestone, Step One to begin May 30". CTV News Regina. May 9, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  107. ^ "Canadians can look forward to small, outdoor summer gatherings if vaccine targets are met: officials". CTV News. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  108. ^ "'We're not doing that in Saskatchewan': Premier bucks federal reopening roadmap, says Sask. sticking with its own plan". CTV News Regina. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  109. ^ "Sask. clears 2nd reopening plan milestone, Step Two to begin June 20". CTV News Regina. May 24, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  110. ^ "Outdoor sports to return May 30 in Step One of Sask. reopening plan". CTV News Regina. May 25, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  111. ^ "All COVID-19 public health restrictions to be lifted in Sask. on July 11". Regina. June 20, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  112. ^ Ellis, Brendan (March 13, 2020). "University of Regina suspends classes amid COVID-19 concerns". CTV News Regina. Archived from the original on March 14, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  113. ^ "COVID-19 concerns prompt U of S to temporarily suspend class, will move courses online". CTV News Saskatoon. March 13, 2020. Archived from the original on March 14, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  114. ^ "Sask. schools closing effective March 20 over COVID-19 concerns". CTV News Regina. March 16, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  115. ^ "Public schools in Saskatchewan closing amid coronavirus concerns". Global News. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  116. ^ "It's official: Saskatchewan schools are closed through September due to coronavirus". Global News. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  117. ^ "Saskatchewan universities plan to continue online classes into fall semester". Global News. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  118. ^ "Sask. schools to return to in-person classes this fall". Regina. June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  119. ^ "Here's what Sask. schools will look like when classes resume in September". CTV News Regina. August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  120. ^ a b "Regina COVID-19: Public high schools move to Level 3; small gathering of anti-maskers protest". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  121. ^ a b Gray, Britton. "'Worst plan in Canada': Sask. NDP reacts to Saskatchewan back-to-school plan". 980 CJME. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  122. ^ a b c "No masks immediately required, no smaller class sizes in Sask. back-to-school plan". CTV News Regina. August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  123. ^ Wiens, Colton (August 5, 2020). "'We are scared for our kids': Concerns raised about Sask. return to school plan". CTV News Regina. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  124. ^ Ellis, Brendan (August 7, 2020). "Mandatory masks being considered for Sask. schools, province says". CTV News Regina. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  125. ^ "Some Saskatchewan school divisions make masks mandatory". Global News. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  126. ^ "Saskatchewan providing additional $40M to schools, delays start date for students". Global News. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  127. ^ "Sask. university students to continue remote classes through winter 2021". CBC News. September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  128. ^ "Yorkton school shifts to online learning following four positive COVID-19 cases". 980 CJME. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  129. ^ a b Woodward, Laura (November 25, 2020). "COVID-19 primarily getting into Sask. schools through recreational sports, Shahab says". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  130. ^ "COVID-19 Outbreaks | Latest Updates". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  131. ^ "All Regina Public Schools move to remote learning until April 12". CTV News Regina. March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  132. ^ "Regina closes rec facilities, U of R sends students back online amid spiking COVID-19 cases". CTV News Regina. March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  133. ^ "Prairie Valley School Division moves classes online". CTV News Regina. March 24, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  134. ^ "Moose Jaw, Caronport schools moving to remote learning due to rising COVID-19 variant cases". CTV News Regina. March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  135. ^ "Regina public, Catholic schools extend remote learning to May 3". CTV News Regina. April 20, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  136. ^ "Teachers, correctional officers, residents 40+ eligible for COVID-19 shot in Sask". Regina. April 30, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  137. ^ "Regina Public, Catholic Schools resume in-class learning". CTV News Regina. May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  138. ^ "Woman ticketed for violating public health order tests positive for COVID-19: Regina police". Global News. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  139. ^ Dunham, Jackie (March 25, 2020). "Travellers returning home must enter mandatory self-isolation: health minister". CTV News. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  140. ^ a b "Some close contacts of COVID-19 variant cases could have to self-isolate up to 24 days: SHA". CTV News Regina. April 5, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  141. ^ "Self-isolation period for people in Sask. who test positive for COVID-19 reduced to 10 days". CBC News. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  142. ^ Hill, Katherine (April 14, 2020). "'Daunting and uncertain time': SHA introduces temperature checks, masks for health-care workers". CTV News Regina. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  143. ^ Hill, Katherine (April 21, 2020). "Limiting movement of care home workers, staff screening part of SHA's offensive plan to combat COVID-19". CTV News Regina. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  144. ^ Ellis, Brendan (April 17, 2020). "Sask. care home staff limited to working in one facility". CTV News Regina. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  145. ^ "'Results on-location': Faster COVID-19 testing machines arrive in Sask". Saskatoon. April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  146. ^ "Health Canada shelves approval for Spartan's COVID-19 test". BNN Bloomberg. Bell Media. May 3, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  147. ^ "Saskatchewan rural municipalities optimistic about COVID-19 testing expansion". Global News. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  148. ^ "Saskatchewan premier plans televised address before releasing reopening plan". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  149. ^ Eneas, Bryan (April 21, 2020). "COVID-19 in Sask: English River First Nation reports 4 cases, SHA sees decline in testing". CBC News. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  150. ^ Hill, Katherine (April 28, 2020). "'Cautious optimism': SHA modelling estimating fewer infections, deaths as COVID-19 rate slows in Sask". CTV News Regina. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  151. ^ "Saskatchewan expands COVID-19 testing". Saskatoon. May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  152. ^ News, CKOM. "Changes coming to COVID-19 testing in Saskatchewan". 650 CKOM. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  153. ^ "Sask. expanding availability of COVID-19 testing". CTV News Regina. May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  154. ^ Hill, Katherine (May 20, 2020). "Sask. expanding COVID-19 testing to anyone working outside their home". CTV News Regina. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  155. ^ "Door-to-door COVID-19 testing wraps up in La Loche and area, with more than 800 households tested". CBC News. May 24, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  156. ^ Simes, Jeremy (July 3, 2020). "Sask. expands visitation guidelines for loved ones in care". CTV News Regina. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  157. ^ "Sask. expands COVID-19 tests for all; extends health services". CTV News Regina. July 13, 2020. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  158. ^ "'Unacceptable': Saskatchewan premier says wait times for COVID-19 testing need to change". Global News. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  159. ^ "Sask. NDP calls for more COVID-19 testing". CTV News Regina. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  160. ^ "With goal set at 4,000 per day, SHA looking to reduce 'barriers' to COVID testing". 980 CJME. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  161. ^ "Here's when drive-through testing will begin in Sask". Regina. September 4, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  162. ^ "COVID Alert app now operational in Saskatchewan". 650 CKOM. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  163. ^ "Sask. to deploy 700K rapid COVID-19 testing kits". CTY News Regina. February 25, 2021. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  164. ^ "Sask. to immediately start testing for COVID-19 variants". CTV News Regina. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  165. ^ "100K COVID-19 rapid test kits coming to Sask. schools". CTV News Regina. March 22, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  166. ^ a b c "Sask. to begin vaccinating first responders, remaining healthcare workers". CTV News Regina. April 12, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  167. ^ a b "All Sask. adults expected to have access to COVID-19 vaccines by mid-June". CTV News Regina. March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  168. ^ a b "'All hands on deck': Sask. releases details of COVID-19 mass vaccination plan". CTV News Regina. February 9, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  169. ^ a b "Sask. lowers AstraZeneca age to 40; includes teachers, correctional officers in COVID-19 vaccine priority". CTV News Regina. April 20, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  170. ^ "'Stick it to COVID' campaign encourages Sask. residents to get vaccinated". CTV News Regina. March 29, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  171. ^ "COVID-19 Update For May 14: Saskatchewan Surpasses 550,000 Total Doses, More than 505,000 First Doses of Vaccine Administered; 227 New Cases, 188 Recoveries, Two New Deaths | News and Media". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  172. ^ "Sask. may see doubling of COVID-19 cases in next 6 months, new modelling shows". CTV News Regina. November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  173. ^ Ellis, Brendan (November 19, 2020). "Sask. expects to receive 180K COVID-19 vaccine doses in 1st batch". CTV News Regina. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  174. ^ "'Back of the line': Moe concerned over Trudeau's comments on receiving vaccines later than other countries". CTV News Regina. November 25, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  175. ^ "Moe 'quite troubled' by Trudeau's comments about vaccines". 980 CJME. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  176. ^ Aiello, Rachel (November 29, 2020). "Premier Moe calling for feds to procure more vaccines". CTV News. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  177. ^ "Canada 'in the top 5' on list to receive coronavirus vaccines 1st: minister". Global News. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  178. ^ a b "Saskatchewan to receive 1,950 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine". Global News. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  179. ^ "1st doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Saskatchewan given to health-care workers". Global News. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  180. ^ "Vaccine Delivery Plan: Regina pilot to expand as Phase 1 approaches". CTV News Regina. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  181. ^ Leroux, Chad (December 28, 2020). "'We are waiting patiently': Optimism growing in northern communities as Moderna vaccine enters Sask". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  182. ^ "More Sask. vaccinations begin Monday after arrival of 4,900 doses of Moderna vaccine". CBC News. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  183. ^ "2nd doses make up one-third of total Sask. vaccine distribution". CTV News Regina. February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  184. ^ a b "'Hang tight': Sask. premier hints at lifting restrictions as soon as next week". CTV News Regina. March 2, 2021. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  185. ^ a b "91% of Saskatchewan long-term care residents receive first COVID-19 vaccine dose". Global News. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  186. ^ "Second doses of COVID-19 vaccines can be given up to 4 months after first, NACI now says". Coronavirus. March 3, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  187. ^ "Sask. vaccine booking expands to residents 70-years and older, 50-years and older in Far North". Regina. March 14, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  188. ^ "AstraZeneca vaccine clinic to open in Regina on Monday". Regina. March 12, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  189. ^ "Residents 60 and older eligible for Regina's AstraZeneca vaccine clinic". Regina. March 16, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  190. ^ "Sask. moves to Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine plan; introduces Special Vaccination Leave for workers". Regina. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  191. ^ "Phase 2 of Vaccine Delivery Plan Launches, Special Vaccination Leave Introduced | News and Media". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  192. ^ a b "Sask. to receive 45K doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by end of March". CTV News Regina. March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  193. ^ "Saskatchewan hits pause button on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for anyone under 55". Global News. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  194. ^ "New COVID-19 vaccine clinics opening in Swift Current, Weyburn over long weekend". CTV News Regina. April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  195. ^ "Sask. government won't stray from current COVID-19 vaccine strategy, despite rising ICU admissions". CTV News Regina. April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  196. ^ "Sask. Premier, health minister go back and forth on next steps for vaccine distribution". Regina. April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  197. ^ "Top doctor predicts all Sask. people 18 and over could get 1st COVID vaccine dose by mid-May". CBC News. April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  198. ^ "'Too close to call': Sask. continues effort to outrun variants with vaccines". CTV News Regina. April 8, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  199. ^ "Sask. COVID-19 vaccination rate second highest in Canada". CTV News Regina. April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  200. ^ "Regina drive-thru vaccine clinic eligibility shifted to ages 53, 54 only". Regina. April 8, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  201. ^ "COVID-19 vaccine available for 52-54 year olds at Regina drive-thru". Global News. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  202. ^ "Ages 50-54 eligible for Regina's drive-thru vaccine clinic". CTV News Regina. April 12, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  203. ^ "COVID-19 Update for April 13". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  204. ^ "Vaccine booking eligibility open to Sask. residents 48+ on Friday; Most drive-thru clinics available to 48-54". CTV News Regina. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  205. ^ "Regina drive-thru vaccine clinic closed until May 2". CTV News Regina. April 18, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  206. ^ "Saskatchewan lowering age-eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine to 40 Friday". Global News. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  207. ^ "Saskatchewan expands vaccine age eligibility to 40, but not without challenges". Global News. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  208. ^ "Regina residents line up in the middle of the night for COVID-19 vaccine". CTV News Regina. May 2, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  209. ^ "Sask. vaccine eligibility will drop to 37+ on Tuesday". CTV News Regina. May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  210. ^ "Sask. expands COVID-19 vaccine pharmacy pilot program". CTV News Regina. May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  211. ^ a b "Sask. confirms its first case of rare vaccine-related blood clot following AstraZeneca shot". CTV News Regina. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  212. ^ "Sask. children 12 and older to be eligible for vaccines next week, school-based shots likely in early June". CBC News. May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  213. ^ Lynn, Josh (February 3, 2021). "108 participants selected for trial of Saskatchewan-made COVID-19 vaccine". Saskatoon. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  214. ^ "University of Saskatchewan COVID-19 vaccine approved for human clinical trials". CBC News. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  215. ^ Lynn, Josh (March 19, 2020). "COVID-19: After brush with 'irresponsible' customer Saskatoon business closes to in-person traffic". Saskatoon. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  216. ^ Lynn, Josh (March 24, 2020). "COVID-19: Saskatoon Transit for 'essential travel only' city says". Saskatoon. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  217. ^ "Saskatoon city council passes special measures to deal with COVID-19 pandemic". Global News. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  218. ^ "Regina Transit to keep operating, but with changes". 980 CJME. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  219. ^ "Saskatchewan restaurant industry sees 25K jobs lost due to COVID-19", Mark Melnychuk< Regina Leader-Post, April 3, 2020.
  220. ^ "A foot in two provinces, Lloydminster ponders differing COVID-19 orders". Canadian Press. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  221. ^ "Lloydminster takes 'step in the right direction' in following Sask. re-opening plan". Saskatoon. April 24, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  222. ^ Lawrence, Jeff (April 23, 2020). "Lloydminster, the city split between two provinces, in unique spot as Sask. eases restrictions". Edmonton. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  223. ^ "City of Regina encouraging public to wear face masks, hints at passing bylaw". Global News. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  224. ^ "Metis Nation-Saskatchewan declares state of emergency, pledges PPE for northern communities". CTV News Saskatoon. April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  225. ^ Forester, Brett (May 8, 2020). "'Jurisdictional limbo' left Metis in Saskatchewan unprepared for COVID-19 says MNC spokesperson". APTN News. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  226. ^ "MN-S president says his positive COVID-19 test 'a reminder to remain cautious'". CTV News Saskatoon. September 19, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  227. ^ Biber, Francois (September 21, 2020). "MN-S president who tested positive for COVID-19 attended fundraiser for Saskatoon mayoral candidate Rob Norris". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  228. ^ a b "Hotel owner says Métis Nation—Sask. president dismissed repeated warnings to follow COVID-19 rules". CBC News. September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  229. ^ "Regina declares local state of emergency, limiting size of gatherings". Global News. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  230. ^ "COVID-19: Mayor of Regina calling for even stricter regulations". CTV News Regina. March 19, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  231. ^ "Here's what the state of local emergency in Gravelbourg, Sask. means for residents". CTV News Regina. March 22, 2020. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  232. ^ "Saskatchewan municipalities can't make up their own coronavirus regulations: province". Global News. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  233. ^ "Here's some clarification on the conflicting orders made by the province and the City of Regina". Regina. March 22, 2020. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  234. ^ Eneas, Brian (March 22, 2020). "Government to review, cancel City of Regina emergency order". Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  235. ^ "Juno Awards cancelled over coronavirus concerns". CBC News. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  236. ^ "Junos in Saskatoon cancelled, with organizers citing concerns over COVID-19". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  237. ^ "Country Thunder Sask. announces 2021 acts after COVID-19 cancellation". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  238. ^ "Country Thunder Saskatchewan cancelled for 2nd straight year due to COVID-19". Global News. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  239. ^ "Canadian Western Agribition goes virtual for 2020". Grainews. June 17, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  240. ^ "Agribition lineup set for this year's online event". The Western Producer. October 8, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  241. ^ Gray, Britton. "Canada's Farm Show moves online for 2021". 980 CJME. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  242. ^ "Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show postponed to 2022". Weyburn Review. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  243. ^ "CJHL announces cancellation of 2020 season, until further notice, due to COVID-19 pandemic". SJHL.ca. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  244. ^ "Sask. Junior Hockey League to continue coronavirus-shortened playoffs via video game simulation". CBC News. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  245. ^ "The SJHL playoffs suspended following directive from Hockey Canada". Regina. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  246. ^ "CFL eyes September return, changes Grey Cup format". CBC News. May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  247. ^ Gray, Britton. "Moe open to Regina being a hub city for CFL in 2020". 980 CJME. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  248. ^ "CFL names Winnipeg tentative hub city for possible shortened season amid coronavirus". Global News. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  249. ^ "CFL cancels 2020 season, 'committed' to 2021". Canadian Press. August 17, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  250. ^ "2021 Saskatchewan Summer Games Called Off Due to Health and Safety Concerns". saskgames.ca. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  251. ^ Blair, Mitchell. "2021 Sask Summer Games called off". 620 CKRM. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  252. ^ "U Sports cancels 6 national championships due to COVID-19 pandemic". Global News. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  253. ^ "Coronavirus: U Sports cancels remaining national championships in 2021 because of pandemic". Global News. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  254. ^ "Canada West cancels multiple conference competitions, defers on others". canadawest.org. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  255. ^ Lang, Brady. "Curling's top athletes to stay in Sask., out of province travel not permitted for 'purpose of sport:' CURLSASK". 650 CKOM. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  256. ^ "SJHL season paused until 2021 due to COVID-19". Global News. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  257. ^ "Flin Flon Bombers pause season as Manitoba enters code red". CTV News Winnipeg. November 12, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  258. ^ Charlton, Jonathan (November 24, 2020). "Fred Sasakamoose, one of NHL's first Indigenous players, dies after COVID-19 diagnosis". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  259. ^ Gray, Britton. "CurlSask selects Dunstone, Anderson as 2021 representatives at nationals". 980 CJME. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  260. ^ "Veteran Sask. broadcaster, Warren Woods, dies at 66 of COVID-19". CTV News Regina. January 20, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  261. ^ "Regina to serve as WHL East Division hub for Saskatchewan, Manitoba teams". Global News. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  262. ^ "Minor hockey not expected to resume in Saskatchewan". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  263. ^ "Marquis Downs cancels 2021 racing season". 650 CKOM. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  264. ^ "Sask. horse-racing industry devastated after 2021 racing season at Marquis Downs cancelled". CBC News. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  265. ^ "Prairieland Park permanently cancels horse-racing at Marquis Downs after 50 years". CBC News. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  266. ^ "Prairieland says goodbye to thoroughbred racing for good – and reveals plans for soccer league". CTV News Saskatoon. March 12, 2021. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  267. ^ "SJHL return to play proposal denied by province". CTV News Regina. March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  268. ^ "Sask. WCBL teams opt out of 2021 season". CTV News Regina. March 25, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  269. ^ "Cases and Risk of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan (updated daily)". Government of Saskatchewan.
  270. ^ Biber, Francois (February 4, 2021). "'Sicker now than in those first 10 days': Sask. couple battling COVID-19 weeks after being told they've recovered". CTV News Saskatoon. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  271. ^ "COVID-19 Update: New Maps Launched; Nine New Cases, 14 In Hospital, Eight More Recoveries". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved August 4, 2020.