BIG NEWS / Saskatchewan / The Wedge

Saskatchewan Leads Canadian Recovery : The Plan

By Maggie M, Editor, Wedgee-in-Chief, theWedge.LIVE

We took a break from publishing for about 2-3 weeks as all the stories would have led to nothing. We could not wax about travel destinations, a great cafe or even a great town.

Everyone was frozen in place.

We could not even conduct socially distanced interviews–six feet from our subjects–in our new project, “Alberta Bound.”

We certainly could not continue as a happy tourism and human interest mag. So now we mix it up, starting with relatively good news.

This writer is impressed with Saskatchewan’s Premier, Scott Moe. He led the recent Premier delegation to DC for good reason. He is solid. No nonsense.

Case in point, the first province to realize this pandemic is a lesser threat than a failed state, begins the first launch this May 4th with re-opening of its campsites, golf courses and boat launches,  however exclusively for Saskatchewaners.

In good time for Mother’s Day this May 10th, right? Not quite unless she’s a golfer or likes camping. In the meantime, you can shower her with love buying flowers and gifts on-line.

On May 19, these retailers will be allowed to reopen with social distancing:

  • clothing stores
  • shoe stores
  • flower shops
  • sporting good/adventure stores
  • vaping supply shops
  • boats, ATV and snowmobile dealers
  • gift, book and stationery stores
  • jewelry and accessory stores
  • toy stores
  • music, electronic and entertainment stores
  • pawn shops
  • travel agencies

Travel agencies are somewhat of an anachronism since travel restrictions limit where you can go. Pawn shops will come in handy for everyone selling their family jewels for food and gas. It is disconcerting that cafes and restaurants remain in abeyance; we are social creatures who crave the din of coffee brewing and human chatter.

The corollary effect is oil and gas will see a little bump as people start milling about.

Photos by Province of Saskatchewan

Here is the province’s gradual reopening plan verbatim:

Phase One – Beginning May 4, 2020
•       The first phase of the plan includes the re-opening of medical services restricted under the current public health order, and the resumption of low-risk outdoor recreational activities, including fishing and boat launches, golf courses and a fixed date for parks and campgrounds.  The size restrictions of public and private gatherings will remain at a maximum of 10 people.
•       On May 4, public access to medical services will be reinstated, including access to dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, opticians, podiatry, occupational therapy and chiropractic treatment.  When it is not possible to physically distance, providers will be required to take precautionary measures as outlined by the Chief Medical Health Officer.
•       Low-risk outdoor recreational activities will be allowable with precautionary measures, including fishing and boat launches (May 4), golfing with physical distancing guidelines (May 15) and a fixed date (June 1) and clear guidelines for the operation of parks and campgrounds.

Phase Two – May 19, 2020
•       The second phase of the plan includes the May 19 re-opening of retail businesses and select personal services that were previously not deemed allowable.
•       The size restrictions of public and private gatherings will remain at a maximum of 10 people.
•       A full list of retail businesses and select personal services that will be deemed allowable in phase two is included in the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan, along with guidance, protocols, and physical distancing measures that allowable businesses and services are required to observe.

Phase Three – Date To Be Determined
•       The third phase will be implemented following an evaluation of transmission patterns of COVID-19, and does not have a pre-determined date.  The third phase will include the re-opening of remaining personal services, along with the re-opening of restaurant-type facilities, gyms and fitness facilities, licensed establishments and childcare facilities.  Capacity limits will remain in some facilities, such as limits to 50 per cent of regular capacity for restaurants and licensed establishments.
•       All businesses and customers will be expected to maintain physical distancing practices, guidelines and recommendations.
•       Other than in allowable businesses, the size of public and private gatherings will increase to a maximum of 15 people.

Phase Four – Date To Be Determined
•       The fourth phase will be implemented following an evaluation of transmission patterns of COVID-19, and does not have a pre-determined date.  The fourth phase will include the re-opening of indoor and outdoor recreation and entertainment facilities.
•       All businesses and customers will be expected to maintain physical distancing practices, guidelines and recommendations.
•       Other than in allowable businesses, the size of public and private gatherings will increase to a maximum of 30 people.

Phase Five – Date To Be Determined
•       The fifth phase will be implemented following an evaluation of transmission patterns of COVID-19 and the preceding four phases, and will include the consideration of lifting long-term restrictions.
Monitoring Transmission of COVID-19 and Phase Advancement Criteria
•       As restrictions are gradually lifted, the Government of Saskatchewan and Dr. Saqib Shahab, Chief Medical Health Officer, will carefully monitor the daily number of reported cases and other important indicators.  These factors will inform decisions regarding the pace at which the restrictions can be lifted or put back in place if required.
•       Transmission is controlled;
•       Health system capacities are in place to test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact;
•       Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes;
•       Preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other essential places;
•       Importation risks can be managed;
•       Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the new norm.

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