New order on nightclubs focus of Dr. Shahab’s latest update

Multiple outbreaks involving Saskatoon nightclubs are the focus of the latest restrictions announced by the province Monday.

At his news conference Wednesday, the provincial health minister Jim Reiter and provincial chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab confirmed a new Public Health Order will come into effect Friday, Oct. 30.

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For nightclubs in Saskatoon, consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. and nightclubs must be closed to patrons at 11 p.m. until 9 a.m. the following day. Takeout food services are permitted.

The order also requires all nightclubs in Saskatchewan to adhere to the following: six patrons to a table only, static table groupings, karaoke and dance floors prohibited, physical distancing, and mask use is required for staff. Establishments are recommended to take names and contact information of all patrons for contact tracing in the event of transmission.

“I know the overwhelming majority of Saskatchewan people are doing their best to follow all the good advice and direction provided by Dr. Shahab and his team,” Reiter said.

“Where we get into trouble is when people step outside that advice and direction. There have been instances where the rules were not followed and this has led to some outbreaks. This has been the result of a few people not following the public health orders and guidelines. So we need to be careful, we need to be vigilant.”

Overall there were 67 new cases reported on Wednesday.

Dr. Shahab noted there were some key things to watch for. He said the seven-day average case rate had gone up from 47 new cases a week to 59, and the case rate per 100,000 had also gone up from 3.9 to 4.8.

The overall test-positive rate has also trended up to 2.3 percent, and Dr Shahab called that something else to watch out for. He noted it was also up to three per cent in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

Dr. Shahab noted Halloween was coming up and noted the importance of enjoying the weekend safely, and following all the published guidelines. He also reiterated private gatherings should be limited to 15 and to stick to friends and family.

“Certainly don’t want to see a large signal of increased case numbers a week or two after Halloween,” said Dr. Shahab.

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