Editor’s note: Innovation Credit Union said its branch in Cut Knife isn’t closed to foot traffic and customers can still enter the branch for service.
Businesses in Cut Knife, Sask. are taking a step back from Saskatchewan’s reopen plan.
The decision comes after someone with COVID-19 could have transmitted the disease as recently as July 16 at the Country Roads Motor Inn restaurant.
The town’s mayor told Global News all businesses are closing to foot traffic.
“They could do curbside pick up. (For example), the credit union is doing the night deposit with the ATM. Other than that, their business is apparently closed. So we’re just seeing more of that again,” Gwenn Kaye said, referring to previous phases in the province’s plan.
The inn has closed its doors for two weeks and now other businesses are taking a step they aren’t required to.
The mayor added the town has done well up to this point steering clear of the disease, but the community is coming together to make sure it doesn’t spread any further.
A University of Saskatchewan epidemiologist said setting up a plan for neighbouring or related businesses is something health authorities should consider if they can trace outbreaks to one or several locations.
“When we don’t have that kind of a directive in place, then each (business creates its) own, really,” Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine told Global News.
He went on to say if this plan was adopted, it would have to be scaled based on population size and density, but would offer clarity for business owners on limiting or closing storefronts to prevent the spread.
Muhajarine also noted he wasn’t surprised to hear that businesses in a rural setting would take this step compared to those in urban centres.
The Ministry of Health told Global News officials can enforce closures or directed health measures at associated businesses based on its investigations, but those considerations are on a case-by-case basis.
According to the town’s website, there are four restaurants in the community including the inn.
“We don’t have a lot of businesses, so supporting local is always everyone’s wish. Keep what we have going and hopefully draw some new ones,” Kaye said.
The mayor added nearby lakes and regional parks make Cut Knife a possible stop for travellers.
She believes these steps are the best way to maintain community safety while keeping businesses operational.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
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. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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