As Saskatchewan faces the largest COVID-19 surge since the pandemic began, Premier Scott Moe has announced the province is implementing mandatory masking and vaccine passports.

“Later today … (we) will be announcing further measures targeted at reducing the pressure on our health-care system, targeted at increasing our vaccination rates and making it less comfortable to remain unvaccinated in Saskatchewan,” Moe said.

Effective September 17th, we will be introducing an interim mandatory masking order. It will be applicable in all public indoor spaces. The order is targeted to be lifted in late October, at which time a full proof of vaccination or negative test policy will have been implemented for about three to four weeks.

The proof of vaccination or negative test policy will come into effect October 1st, and it will apply to several businesses, establishments and event venues, while excluding several services that are necessary for every citizen in the province to access.

Unlike previous waves, this wave of the pandemic is being driven almost entirely by one group that consists of about 20 to 30 per cent of our population, those that have made the choice to remain unvaccinated. New cases are overwhelmingly in unvaccinated people.

The time for patience is now over, the choice to not get vaccinated is not just affecting you, it’s now seriously impacting those who did do the right thing. And it’s now seriously impacting those who cannot get vaccinated, our children, and it is prolonging the pandemic for everyone.

The choice to not get vaccinated is creating consequences for others. And I would say very soon it’s going to create consequences for those who have made the decision to remain unvaccinated,” Moe said.

As of Wednesday, Saskatchewan continued to add COVID-19 cases— with unvaccinated children making up the largest share of new positives.

The province announced 475 new cases on Wednesday, 104 of which were diagnosed in children under 12, who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. The cases announced on Tuesday topped 500 for the first time. The province has reported the three highest daily case counts of the pandemic over the past three days, including 506 on Tuesday. Active cases cracked the 4,000 mark for the first time since January on Wednesday, and total diagnosed cases topped 60,000.

Saskatchewan continues to trail every jurisdiction in the country except Alberta in its vaccination rate for those 12 and older.

Saskatchewan COVID-19 cases are climbing at the fastest rate in Canada with 241 per 100,000 people over seven days, according to information compiled by the federal government. The comparable national rate is 78.

 

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