Saskatchewan ending daily coronavirus updates

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Saqib Shahab, chief medical health officer, arrive at a COVID-19 news update at the legislative building in Regina on March 18, 2020. Michael Bell / The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health is joining other provinces across western Canada by no longer providing a daily coronavirus update.

As of Canada Day, data related to COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan will no longer be updated on weekends and statutory holidays, says the government of Saskatchewan.

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Going forward, news releases and updates will be posted Monday to Friday at 1:30 p.m. Weekend data will be provided on Mondays.

British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba are doing the same by reporting their COVID-19 data — including new case numbers — on weekdays only.

In June, the province also scaled back on its daily briefings around the novel coronavirus.

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Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Shahab Saqib provides televised briefings on Tuesday and Thursdays. He’s often joined by Premier Scott Moe or Health Minister Jim Reiter. The briefings previously occurred Monday to Friday, with teleconferences rarely occurring on weekends.

Read more: Trudeau to end daily coronavirus briefings as country moves to reopen

On Monday, Canada’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, told reporters the federal government will also be winding down on their daily briefings.

“There is no doubt that we’ll still be working non-stop. A lot of work that we’re doing right now is to be extremely vigilant about this current phase of reopening and to address any little sparks of outbreaks quickly with the provinces and territories,” Tam said.

But health-care workers need a break, she said.

“It is also time to make sure we recharge everything so that we’re ready for any resurgences,” Tam said. “That is very important because I think most of the public health workers and anyone in the health system, I know all of my colleagues have been working extremely hard.”

Read more: ‘The situation is improving,’ Quebec’s top doctor says as province resumes daily coronavirus updates

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Saskatchewan started providing daily coronavirus updates in March when the province declared a state of emergency. The updates include cases, hospitalizations and the number of people tested in Saskatchewan.

Other provinces across Canada continue to provide daily updates including Ontario and Quebec.

Quebec initially announced it would no longer publish new COVID-19 information on a daily basis and would move to weekly updates. Following criticism, the province reversed its decision and resumed its daily coronavirus update on Monday.

As of Tuesday, there has been a total of confirmed 785 cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

-With a file from Kalina Laframboise

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