Sask. top doc signals he has recommended additional COVID-19 measures to provincial government
SASKATOON -- During a news conference on Tuesday, Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab appeared to give his clearest indication yet that he has recommended additional COVID-19 measures to the government.
Since implementing a province-wide mask mandate in September and requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test result in some settings as of Oct. 1, no further preventive measures have been introduced.
In an Oct. 21 letter to Health Minister Paul Merriman, 21 medical health officers working in the province called for measures including a 28-day limit on private gathering sizes similar to what was in place during the early stages of Saskatchewan's reopening plan "with some modifications for the fully immunized population."
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Shahab said the proposed steps outlined in the letter are "closely aligned with many recommendations" he's made to the government.
"Certainly those are all important steps that we should consider," Shahab said.
The letter also asks that proof of vaccination of rules be expanded and negative test results should no longer be accepted as a substitute in some locations.
While he has encouraged people in the province to limit their social circles, Shahab has not publicly disclosed any of his specific recommendations to the Saskatchewan government.
Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) modelling data shows without temporary gathering limits, COVID-19 related ICU admissions could soar later this year, eclipsing the current levels which have resulted in patients being transferred out of province for care.
Earlier this week, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said he wasn't open to introducing additional public health measures.
"We don't think it's right to impose those sweeping orders or sweeping restrictions on all people when the vast majority of people in this province kind of went out and done the right thing and they have received their vaccine," Moe said.
Moe also cited the recent decline in newly reported coronavirus cases.
On Tuesday an SHA official told CTV News that a simultaneous decline in testing may mean new COVID-19 cases are underreported.