Coronavirus: Saskatchewan Health Authority temporarily suspends paid parking

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan Health Authority temporarily suspends paid parking
WATCH: Saskatchewan Health Authority temporarily suspends paid parking in order to support frontline workers and patients.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has chosen to temporarily remove paid parking in order to support frontline workers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health authority made the decision on Thursday and said its employees remain focused on delivering care.

This decision applies to doctors, staff, nurses, patients and visitors.

SHA said the only visitors who are allowed in its facilities are there for compassionate reasons.

READ MORE: Alberta suspends hospital parking fees during COVID-19 pandemic

It comes as a petition was organized asking for this action to be taken.

More than 350 people had signed that petition by the afternoon of April 2.

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The petition’s organizer has friends who work in health care and were paying around $18 to park at hospitals every shift.

READ MORE: Temporary free parking at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19 crisis

Hannah Pederson said she’s never signed a petition before, let alone start one, and feels very thankful to all frontline workers.

“Even people who aren’t directly working with COVID-19 patients, there are so many more protocols taking place in hospitals and there’s so many things that they’re adjusting to during this time that it’s just one less thing off their plate,” she said.

This decision comes after B.C. and Nova Scotia took similar action at their respective facilities.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon city council passes special measures to deal with COVID-19 pandemic

The City of Saskatoon has also taken steps to address parking.

All residential parking zone restrictions have been suspended until further notice.

The City of Regina is also relaxing parking laws around Regina General Hospital.

Alberta also suspended paid parking at hospitals.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.