Twenty-one medical health officers — doctors charged with advising government leaders on how to keep people safe — wrote to Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman last week pleading for more restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It was their second attempt. They previously wrote a letter in August.
“The Medical Health Officers of Saskatchewan (MHOs) would like to express our continued and growing concern about the current state of COVID-19 in our province and the lack of effectiveness of the current public health measures,” it says.
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“Without further action, it is highly likely that we will face even higher rates of hospitalization in coming weeks and risk health system collapse, as well as many more preventable deaths.”
The doctors specify they are not asking for a full lockdown or school closures.
In the letter, dated Oct. 21, they ask Merriman to impose gathering restrictions on private indoor gatherings, specifying the province should prohibit unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people from gathering beyond their own household for 28 days.
They also write that the government should limit capacity in venues, like those used for weddings and funerals, to 25 per cent if they only require mandatory masks and not proof of vaccination.
The letter says these restrictions should not apply if the venues do require proof of vaccination.
The MHOs write the province should require proof of vaccination in more venues overall and that more locations should not accept proof of a negative test.
The doctors state schools must be made safer in order to keep them open.
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They also ask the government to state clearly the seriousness of the situation and encourage Saskatchewan residents to reduce the number of people with whom they’re meeting.
“We understand that returning to these restrictions is not what our population wants, or what our leaders want to contemplate, but with the health system in crisis, the alternatives are much worse.”
Global News reached out to Merriman’s office, as well as the health ministry and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, which operates the province’s COVID-19 emergency operations centre.
None were immediately available for a response.
The province has not imposed new health guidelines since the letter was sent. On Wednesday, Premier Scott Moe said he would not do so.
The letter was sent after Moe announced the province would transfer ICU patients to Ontario.
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