COVID-19 Update: Saskatchewan Keeping Schools Open for Now

Saskatchewan

REGINA – Saskatchewan is bucking the trend across most of Canada. Schools will remake open for now in the province. Provincial officials say that because all the cases in the province are not from community transmission that simply keeping students home if they are sick, is enough.

“Any recommendation to close schools is based on risk assessment and made on a case-by-case basis,” Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Saqib Shahab said. “The decision to close schools should not be made in the absence of valid public health reasons and the benefits and risks need to be considered carefully.”

While concern over the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to rise, the risk in Saskatchewan still remains low but is increasing.

The decision to close schools is made upon the advice of the provincial Chief Medical Health Officer. We all need to ensure we are taking measures as individuals to maintain social distancing including staying home if sick and keeping children out of school if sick.

The FSIN says, “Although the Saskatchewan Government is keeping schools open, many First Nations communities have decided to close their schools in light of Covid-19 cases increasing in Saskatchewan and following the closure of universities and colleges.

“The FSIN supports all First Nations parents and students who attend schools off-reserve who choose to keep their families safe by staying home. Keeping our children and families safe is our number one priority.
“We encourage everyone to make the best and most informed choice for your family. That decision can only be made by you and your family.”

The positive cases in Saskatchewan are still primarily travel-related and there is no sustained community transmission at this time. As we learn more or if the situation changes there could be school closures locally on the direction of the local Medical Health Officer or more broadly on the direction of the Chief Medical Health Officer.

The criteria for school closures is based on a number of factors including:
• Evidence of sustained transmission within the community
• The rapid increase of local cases
• Transmission without a known link to travel or confirmed cases.

New Travel Guidance for Residents Travelling Internationally and Returning to Saskatchewan:

The Federal Government and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer recommend returning to Canada and avoiding non-essential international travel until further notice.

All travellers returning from international destinations – including the United States – need to self-isolate and monitor their health for 14 days upon return. Travellers returning from within Canada are advised to self-monitor for 14 days upon return. Members of the public who have travelled outside the province in the previous 14 days should not visit hospitals or long-term care facilities.