Mask restrictions lifted at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities

Click to play video: 'Mask restrictions lifted at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities'
Mask restrictions lifted at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities
Mask restrictions are lifted at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities across Saskatchewan today (Tuesday). Victoria Idowu has more. – Apr 4, 2023

Mask restrictions are lifted at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities across Saskatchewan today (Tuesday).

Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley spoke about the issue at the Saskatchewan Legislature on Monday, saying requirements for masking will remain only where they existed pre-pandemic, such as operating rooms.

He added this decision came down following consultations with Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“I was hearing about it from families, but also from health-care workers, as a matter of fact — a number of health-care workers from across this province who felt that it was time to revert back to the previous policy,” Hindley said.

He said masks will still be available at the facilities for those who want them.

Story continues below advertisement

The province noted that privately run physician clinics get to set their own policies, and may still require masks.

It added that the SK Vax Wallet app will also be decommissioned by the end of April due to the decreased need for proof of vaccination, and vaccine records can still be found on your MySaskHealthRecord account.

Saskatchewan’s Health Critic Vicki Mowat said she would like to see the recommendations from the province’s chief medical health officer directly.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.

“It would be good to hear the recommendations from Dr. Shahab and to know what direction ministry is receiving,” Mowat said.

The latest respiratory illness report from the province that was published on March 25 showed the COVID-19 viral load in wastewater remains moderate to high in several parts of the province.

Dr. Adam Ogieglo, a family physician in Saskatoon, gave his two cents about the mask requirements being lifted, saying he disagreed with it a little.

“I think masking in a health facility is sort of almost an expectation now so that vulnerable people can access care without fear of becoming infected with COVID-19 or other respiratory infections,” Ogieglo said.

Story continues below advertisement

He said he would like to see those requirements in place longer.

“Those decisions are obviously above my pay grade.”

Ogieglo said he hopes people recognize that vulnerable people can be at these health facilities with no other choice.

“Those vulnerable people can certainly wear masks and try their best to protect themselves, the problems comes when those vulnerable people need to remove those masks to receive their care.”

He said we should be trying to protect vulnerable people and allow them to access health care safely, adding he expects to work out the rest of his career with COVID-19 around.

Ogieglo said we need to learn to live with COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean ignoring it and trying to go back to where we were in 2019.


Sponsored content