Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to provide any support necessary to help Saskatchewan with its COVID-19 crisis.
In a conversation with Premier Scott Moe Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office says the two leaders spoke about Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 cases, increasing vaccination efforts and what the province needs to overcome the fourth wave of the pandemic.
A statement from Ottawa says Mr. Trudeau reiterated that the federal government “remains ready to respond to any requests” from Saskatchewan for aid.
Mr. Trudeau encouraged Mr. Moe to identify any specific needs as they emerge.
The pair also talked about encouraging vaccine uptake with Indigenous, rural and remote communities.
Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of active COVID-19 cases in Canada and its hospitals are overburdened with patients fighting the virus.
The news updates come as the province of Saskatchewan announces a new colour-coded COVID-19 risk framework.
Saskatoon city council has approved a colour-coded framework for municipal COVID-19 safety response
The framework uses the best available data (indicators) to inform how and when to increase or relax various COVID-19 safety measures within the City of Saskatoon’s legislative jurisdiction, according to a press release on Monday.
Pamela Goulden-McLeod, director of Saskatoon Emergency Management Organization (EMO), said the city is currently in a high-risk ‘orange’ situation.
“We’re implementing this decision-making framework to better guide civic operations and interventions based on the current COVID-19 risk in Saskatoon,” Ms. Goulden-McLeod said in a statement.
“This is not to be considered another level or layer of health order — it’s a guide to help the city make decisions about how to best keep its staff safe and services going and to ensure transparency and predictability for staff and residents.
“When fully implemented, this framework can help to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in our facilities and can help to lower the number of cases in our community and potential future hospitalizations. The goal of this framework is to prevent disruption to critical services and help our whole community move to the green, minimal-risk level.”
Municipal officials said COVID-19 transmission continues to affect the delivery of city programs and services and requires ongoing health and safety measures to limit virus transmission in the workplace and community.
“Local (medical health officers) MHO have assessed there is a high likelihood that the transmission of COVID-19 is uncontrolled in Saskatoon,” read the press release.
The city said this framework is designed to help city employees and people who use municipal programs and services understand the current level of risk in the community and the measures that are in place to minimize the risk.
According to Ms. Goulden-McLeod, the city moves through the framework, measures can be added or subtracted.
The city added this framework operates in the absence of applicable formal public health orders, or in addition to the public health orders.
The framework is colour-coded and based on the following four-level risk assessment:
- green — minimal risk
- yellow — caution
- orange — high risk
- red — critical risk
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