Sask. Doctors hope province maintains COVID-19 measures to ease potential 5th wave

Saskatchewan doctors are encouraging the province to be “on track” with current public health measures, as a way to reduce the severity of the fifth wave of COVID-19.

“All the signs and signals all over Canada look the same, even in Saskatchewan, we might be experiencing a fifth wave or something,” said Dr. Johnmark Opondo, paramedic SHA’s economics and public health officer, said Thursday.

Doctors are suggesting that current health measures should be in place until spring, based on slides from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) town hall on Thursday night.

“I think we’ve learned from the experience, that suddenly lifting all the public health orders at once can really have a rebound effect, and even the victories we’ve achieved can be devastating. can be quickly lost,” says Opondo.

Doctors say there are three main factors that could contribute to the fifth wave in Saskatchewan: declining immunity to vaccines, population behavior including face coverings and reduced social inclusion; and the emergence of the recently discovered variant of Omicron.

Opondo said Saskatchewan is in “enhanced surveillance” when it comes to Omicron, but the variant has yet to be detected in the province.

The province has the sixth-highest average daily rate of new cases per 100,000 population of any Canadian province, at 43 as of Thursday, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Saskatchewan has the second-highest COVID-19 death rate of any province after Manitoba, averaging 2.5 per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks.

SHA observed a decrease in daily case rates in most regions, with the exception of Yorkton, Estevan, Saskatoon, Edam, Kerrobert and Caronport. Transmission of the virus continues to be primarily seen in households and social gatherings.

“COVID and the Delta wave, everything seems to be falling,” Opondo said. “We still have hotspots in various parts of the province.”

Entering the holiday season, doctors are advising families to consider the health measures that have been adopted.

“In terms of using proof of vaccination as a way to support yourself and your loved ones. Even the rapid antigen tests, which are largely available in many places, many facilities in the community, use them to really support yourself and your family before you join family groups,” said Opondo. speak.

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