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No fines to be issued after 'large family gatherings' in Saskatoon prompt COVID-19 outbreak declaration
Published Thursday, May 28, 2020 5:15PM CST Last Updated Friday, May 29, 2020 8:45AM CST
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks with the media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday November 12, 2019. Police in Regina say a 23-year-old woman ticketed nearly $3,000 for violating a public health order had tested positive with COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
SASKATOON -- Premier Scott Moe says there are no plans to fine those who organized or took part in two large family gatherings in Saskatoon that led to a COVID-19 outbreak declaration.
The gatherings, which prompted the "community outbreak" declaration from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) both exceeded the current 10-person limit in Saskatchewan.
On Thursday, during a news conference in Regina, Moe said while some individuals have been fined under the province's public health orders, none will be in this case.
"The goal of the public health orders is to have compliance," Moe said. "It's not to fine anyone."
While Moe did acknowledge that some fines have previously been levied for violations of the province's COVID-19-related public health orders, he said the punitive actions came only after "great outreach" to educate individuals and warnings were issued.
On Wednesday, when the outbreak was declared, the SHA said one confirmed case and one presumptive case had been linked to the events.
Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, also answering questions at the press briefing, said four COVID-19 cases have been linked to the events.
Shahab described the gatherings as "outdoor events related to food."
On Wednesday, the SHA described the outbreak as "contained" and said that a contact investigation involving more than 60 people was underway.
All the close contacts are isolating at home and there is no risk to the public, the SHA said.