Moose Jaw, Sask., mayor reminds residents to stay vigilant as COVID-19 variants rise

Click to play video: 'Concerns raised in Saskatchewan over spread of COVID-19 variants' Concerns raised in Saskatchewan over spread of COVID-19 variants
WATCH: Saskatchewan continues to see one of the highest rates of active COVID-19 cases in the country, with the surge in infections leading to capacity issues in ICUs – Mar 31, 2021

With the recent surge of COVID-19 variants of concern in Moose Jaw, Mayor Fraser Tolmie is urging residents to buckle down and keep up with Saskatchewan’s public health orders.

As of Tuesday, the south-central zone, where Moose Jaw is located, accounts for 111 of the province’s reported variants.

Read more: Sask. health officials issue warning about COVID-19 variant rise in Moose Jaw

“Over the past two weeks we’ve had open conversations with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) concerning the pandemic in Regina and Moose Jaw,” Tolmie said in a press release Tuesday.

“In conversations with (Chief Medical Health Officer) Dr. Shahab and SHA representatives, Dr. Torr and Dr. Chhetri, we are closely monitoring the recent increase in cases in our area.

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“We will continue to monitor these numbers and at this point, we recommend that Moose Jaw residents continue to follow all current public health guidelines to help decrease the spread of the virus.”

Read more: Sask. NDP urges expansion of COVID-19 restrictions to Moose Jaw, SHA asks residents to get tested

In Tuesday’s COVID-19 update, the province encouraged all Moose Jaw residents to take extra precautions in light of the increase of variants.

  • Wear your mask in all public places including all workplaces
  • Wash non-medical masks daily
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Reduce activities outside of your home
  • Order take-out or curbside pick-up
  • If you are able to work from home, work from home at this time
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel to and from Moose Jaw

“Over the past 13 months, we’ve seen that when we put our backs into it things turn around very quickly,” Shahab said.

“If you see case numbers go up, you should be extra cautious and that especially goes for our friends in Moose Jaw. Outdoors is better than indoors.”

Read more: Moose Jaw schools move to remote learning due to spike in variant cases

The Saskatchewan NDP said Tuesday, the province isn’t doing enough to protect those living in Moose Jaw.

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“Once again we are seeing Scott Moe and this Sask. Party government ignore the warning signs for a community in our province,” said Vicki Mowat, NDP health critic.

“Schools in Moose Jaw have moved to remote learning, but the government is keeping bars and restaurants open. It doesn’t make any more sense in Moose Jaw than it did in Regina.

“Hopefully, the government will come to its senses and introduce similar restrictions in Moose Jaw as it has in Regina.”

Moe doesn’t see it in the same light.

“The people of Moose Jaw should be very, very diligent and should go above and beyond the health measures, especially if you’re unvaccinated and 50-60 years old,” Moe said.

“We need to be even more diligent in Moose Jaw and throughout the southeast.

Read more: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan’s current public health orders extended to April 12

“The goal is not to involve additional measures, the goal is to avoid overburdening the healthcare system. We are in active talks should we have to make some moves in the days or weeks ahead.”

SHA recently announced it is expanding mobile testing in Moose Jaw where COVID-19 variants of concern are rising.

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“In conjunction with the MOH and SHA we are working very hard to establish a local drive-through for vaccine delivery,” Tolmie said.

“We’re encouraged by what SHA has relayed regarding the efficacy of the vaccine, and ask all residents to get vaccinated.”

Mobile testing will replace the previously scheduled drop-in testing. Testing is by appointment only and the SHA said people will be provided the testing location when an appointment is made.

Testing information can be found by clicking here.

Click to play video: 'Moose Jaw schools move to remote learning due to spike in variant cases' Moose Jaw schools move to remote learning due to spike in variant cases
Moose Jaw schools move to remote learning due to spike in variant cases – Mar 26, 2021

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