'Be able to list who you have been in contact with' before you gather: Sask. premier
Before you plan your first post-lockdown get together, you should think carefully
Saskatchewan's premier says its likely OK to gather with a few friends and family for a barbecue, as long as everyone is practicing proper physical distancing, but such gatherings should be strictly limited to people living within two to three households.
Scott Moe said he is one of the people looking forward to a small gathering.
"I have a son that I haven't seen for six weeks. I'd love to have a barbecue with him and cook a locally-grown and processed steak sooner rather than later, and I think we will," the premier said Thursday at the unveiling of the reopening plan.
On CBC Saskatchewan's The Morning Edition Friday, Moe said people who do decide to gather should be able to trace all the people they have been in contact with over the past two weeks and "allow the length of that list to kind of guide your decisions on who you're going to be in contact with."
"Let's keep those lists as tight as we can."
He also advised not mixing multiple households.
"We do need to live as families and if there is opportunities I think as we move forward for appropriate physical distancing to occur I think we should we should get together," Moe said.
Health officials say it would be best to choose a few friends and just stay within that select group. Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer, said the risks increase once contact takes place outside that group.
"Try to meet the same people or the same households for the next little while. Don't randomly meet three new people everyday, because I think that's where the risk goes up," Shahab said.
He said it is still vital that people follow the guidelines around gatherings, since one case of COVID-19 can quickly turn into thousands.
Here is a quick check list before you decide to visit family and friends:
- People who are sick with a fever or cough must not attend (even if symptoms appear to be mild or resemble a cold).
- Anyone at high-risk of severe disease should not attend.
- Stagger the time of arrivals and departures.
- Serve pre-packaged refreshments only.
- Increase access to hand-washing stations or alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often.
- Promote good respiratory hygiene.
- Events should not have more than 10 attendees and all present must practice physical distancing.
While both Moe and Shahab said that as of this weekend you may have small and limited gatherings, the plan to reopen Saskatchewan businesses officially starts on May 4 and will be implemented in five phases over the coming months.
with files from CBC Saskatchewan's The Morning Edition