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Coronavirus: Large gatherings in Saskatchewan not likely until 2021 says top doctor

Saskatchewan premier ‘concerned about large gatherings regardless of the cause’
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was asked on Thursday whether he is advising that the province's residents not attend anti-racism protests planned for the weekend in response to the George Floyd death in Minnesota - out of health concerns. The premier said he does have concerns about any large gatherings regardless of the cause, as the COVID-19 virus doesn’t distinguish between good or bad causes.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer says COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings in the province are not likely to lift before next year.

Dr. Saqib Shahab says he believes Saskatchewan won’t be able to enter the fifth and final phase of its reopen plan that calls for lifting restrictions on big crowds until June 2021.

READ MORE: Country Thunder postpones Craven, Sask., event due to coronavirus concerns

Next week, the limit on the size of indoor gatherings is to increase from 10 to 15 people and to 30 for those outdoors.

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The changes come as people plan more rallies against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis which has sparked international outrage.

Shahab says during the pandemic anything done remotely is always preferred.

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Premier Scott Moe says he’s concerned about big crowds and from a health perspective the novel coronavirus doesn’t distinguish as to why someone attends a large event.

On Thursday, the province reported one new case of COVID-19 bringing its total to 648.