Fans spotted maskless during Eric Church concert in Saskatoon
Photos are circulating of fans at Sasktel Centre Saturday night for the Eric Church concert maskless, just a day after the federal government announced it would be sending assistance to help the province deal with overrun intensive care units.
"I'm quite perplexed that this concert of about 13,500 attendees went ahead at a time when our IC-units are maxed out," said University of Saskatchewan professor of community health and epidemiology, Nazeem Muhajarine.
Those who attended the show were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Tests were to be conducted between Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Saturday before the show. Masks were also to be worn at all times unless eating or drinking.
"Someone could have given a negative test that was in the last 72 hours, and those 72 hours are three days. Someone could have picked (COVID-19) up within the four to 24 hours of attending the concert," Muhajarine said.
In a picture making the rounds on social media, maskless attendees sitting enjoying the show.
"It's one thing to have these orders, for example mandatory mask-wearing," Muhajarine said. "It's quite another to enforce those orders."
The facility kicked out roughly ten people for not adhering to the mask mandate, according to SaskTel Centre Executive Director Scott Ford.
"I know people said that they saw sections of people where half would have their masks on but half of them were actually eating food and drinking beverages all the time, every second of the show," said Sasktel Centre executive director Scott Ford.
He said in total roughly 13,300 fans attened the event.
"It's a team event, crowd management isn't just SaskTel Centre event staff, enforcing policies and procedures it's the fans also enforcing policies and procedures and they know the rules as well," Ford said. "There are a lot of customers in the stands that if they see people with their masks down that weren't eating and drinking who would say 'hey guys put your mask on.'"
The venue is set to host Professional Bull Riding next weekend which according to Ford brings in roughly 10,000 fans for the two-day event. It will adhere to similar proof of vaccination protocols.