'This is of the utmost urgency': Saskatoon mayor says new city-focused COVID-19 plan will be announced this week
SASKATOON -- Mayor Charlie Clark says a new, Saskatoon-focused plan to combat the spread of COVID-19 will likely be announced by the end of the week.
"The escalating COVID cases in Saskatoon are of great concern to me," Clark said in a series of tweets sent Tuesday evening.
"I have been working with a range of groups to determine what targeted interventions will have the greatest impact in stopping the spread of COVID, and what is in the power of the city to implement."
The majority of Saskatchewan’s active coronavirus cases are centred in the Saskatoon area, with 826 cases as of Wednesday.
Clark said any steps taken would be driven by the recommendations of health professionals and businesses will be consulted about the plan.
“This is of the utmost urgency and I am hoping to announce a plan publicly by the end of this week,” Clark said.
During a committee meeting held on Monday, city councillors requested a report outlining how much latitude the city has in putting its own measures in place.
"Quite frankly, there's a lot of people that ... want the city and are hoping that the city can do more," Coun. Bev Dubois, who initiated the motion.
"That would be in regards to tighter controls, that would be in regards to count, (closing down) certain facilities or businesses that that folks are feeling maybe uncomfortable with, they feel that there might be a community transmission happening there," Dubois said.
Dubois said it would be a "courtesy to the citizens of Saskatoon" if the report clarifies what the city can do.
While Clark supported the motion, he said based on Regina's example early in the pandemic, the city's options are fairly limited.
"I also know that there are some in the public that want the city to implement the lockdown or the city to implement these measures, " Clark said.
"As we've learned and seen in the past, that is not the role that the city has in this and I think maybe with Councillor Dubois' motion that will help to clarify to the public those rules."
Premier Scott Moe and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer are expected to reveal new COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday afternoon. The announcement will be streamed live on CTVNewsSaskatoon.ca and CTVNewsRegina.ca