COVID-19 in Sask: Alcohol to be prohibited in Saskatoon nightclubs after 10 p.m., 67 new cases reported
New restrictions for nightclubs take effect Friday
Saskatchewan is implementing new restrictions after multiple COVID-19 outbreaks at nightclubs in Saskatoon.
Beginning Friday, consumption of alcohol is prohibited in all Saskatoon nightclubs from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. CST for everyone, including patrons, staff and owners.
Nightclubs must also be closed to patrons at 11 p.m. until at least 9 a.m. CST. Takeout food services will still be permitted.
At a news conference at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina on Wednesday, Sask. Health Minister Jim Reiter addressed the province's recent growing COVID-19 case numbers.
"We're likely to see these types of numbers in the days ahead," said Reiter.
Many of the new cases in the province continue to be linked back to "superspreader" events, private gatherings and small outbreaks throughout the province.
"I know the overwhelming majority of Saskatchewan people are doing their best to follow all the good advice and direction provided by Dr. [Saqib] Shahab and his team. Where we get into trouble is where people step outside of that advice and direction," Reiter said.
"There have been some instances where the rules are not followed and this has led to some outbreaks."
The new public health order also requires all nightclubs in Saskatchewan to obey the following guidelines:
- Six patrons to a table only.
- Static table groupings – no mingling among groups/tables.
- Karaoke and dance floors remain prohibited.
- Business owners and operators must ensure physical distancing within their establishments.
- Mask use is required for staff. The SHA is strongly encouraging patrons to wear masks until they are seated.
The province is recommending that all bars, nightclubs and licensed establishments in Saskatchewan record names and contact information of all patrons. This is to help with contact tracing in the event of possible transmission.
Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said at the news conference that despite many active cases being linked to the Full Gospel Outreach Centre "superspreader" event in Prince Albert, the province will not be placing restrictions on churches and other places of worship at this time.
"For the most part, churches have been extremely diligent. Many people who are vulnerable have continued to worship remotely or online," said Shahab.
With Halloween coming up on Saturday, Shahab directed his speech at young people, saying this is not the time to go to multiple parties or bars. He said they should follow health authority guidelines and stay in small groups.
Saskatchewan reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 recoveries on Wednesday. Of the total 2,908 cases reported in Saskatchewan so far, 666 are considered active.
Seven of the new cases are located in the north west, seven are in the north central, 11 are in the north east, 25 are in the Saskatoon area, 15 are in the Regina area and two are in the south east.
On Tuesday, 2,410 COVID-19 tests were performed in Saskatchewan.
"We had record high testing this week. But our test positive rate is trending upward slowly," Shahab said.
The province said public health investigations are underway to determine the source of transmission for all of the new cases.
Twenty people are currently in hospital. Fourteen of them are receiving inpatient care: four people in the north zone, nine in the Saskatoon zone and one in the Regina zone.
There are six people in intensive care, with one in the north central zone, four in Saskatoon and one in Regina.