Effective Friday, those who received a positive COVID-19 test result on either a PCR or a rapid antigen test will be required to self-isolate for five days regardless of vaccination status.
The province also said close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases will no longer be required to self-isolate regardless of vaccination status.
Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman was asked during a COVID-19 update on Thursday whether proof-of-vaccination mandates will continue.
“Right now, it’s in place until the end of February and we’re going to continue that with the masking, the verification and the negative tests,” he said, adding that “this is continually evolving.”
Merriman and the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab addressed reporters during their Thursday COVID-19 update.
“COVID-19 response must transition to adapt to the challenges of the current Omicron wave, taking into account the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant,” stated health officials. “As well as wide adoption of at-home rapid testing and the proven effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations.”
Health officials say those who tested positive will be required to self-isolate for five days from the date of the test or 24 hours after their fever has resolved without the aid of fever-reducing medications. The person must have been symptom-free for 48 hours.
Parents and caregivers will no longer be required to inform schools about positive test results. However, health officials are asking those who do come in contact with a positive COVID-19 case to self-monitor for symptoms and continue to use publicly available rapid antigen tests for asymptomatic surveillance.
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“If you are currently self-isolating for 10 days because you are an unvaccinated confirmed case or a close contact of a case, you may be able to amend your self-isolation period as of noon, January 28,” stated health officials.
That policy applies to those who are asymptomatic but those who are symptomatic must continue to self-isolate until symptoms resolve.
The health minister continues to encourage residents to self-monitor, self-test and self-manage to help prevent transmission, given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
Officials confirm that the public health order (PHO) will remain in effect, which includes mandatory masking in all indoor public spaces including schools; mandatory self-isolation is required for all confirmed cases; and proof of vaccination or negative test requirements are in place for public access to a list of establishments, businesses and event venues.
For further details on the current public health orders, visit the province’s website.