Sask government says provincial rules trump local rules
March 23, 2020, 10:05 am
On Sunday, Saskatchewan's provincial government made an announcement to clarify that emergency orders issued by the provincial government take precedence over any orders issued by municipal governments.
"In the case of any discrepancy between an emergency order issued by the province and one issued by a municipal government, the province will review to ensure consistency of COVID-19 standards and restrictions across Saskatchewan," the province said. "This will be done in order to minimize confusion among Saskatchewan residents and will ensure that in cases of conflicting information, provincial orders will supersede orders of municipalities."
On Friday, the City of Regina issued an emergency order that contained restrictions differing from those that have been imposed by the Government of Saskatchewan and the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan.
Government Relations Minister Lori Carr has spoken to Regina Mayor Michael Fougere and clarified that it is the provincial orders that take precedence.
“I fully understand that Mayor Fougere and Regina City Council intended to set guidelines for residents of Regina to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Carr said.
“However, during this time of great uncertainty, it is of the utmost importance that we provide certainty to Saskatchewan residents and make every effort to minimize confusion. I have communicated to Regina Mayor Michael Fougere that the provincial emergency orders have been made based on the advice of Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer.”
Carr has also spoken with the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) to ensure all municipalities are aware that provincial restrictions and standards apply to all municipalities and consistent standards are required.
If a municipality implements an order which provides contrary standards, the province will take measures to ensure that the provincial emergency measure takes precedence. Minister Carr, SUMA and SARM have also established a formal communications mechanism to ensure all Saskatchewan municipalities remain updated with the latest restrictions and standards.
The following previously announced are effective throughout Saskatchewan:
• Public gatherings of more than 25 people in one room are prohibited except where two metre distancing between people can be maintained; workplace and meeting settings where people are distributed into multiple rooms or buildings; and retail locations (ie. grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations).
• The closure of all nightclubs, bars, lounges and similar facilities. Take out of alcohol or food products so permitted with two metre distancing between customers and the delivery of alcohol or food products.
• In-person classes in all primary and secondary educational institutions both public and private are suspended.
• Visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes, and group homes shall be restricted to family visiting for compassionate reasons.
• Effective immediately, all persons that have travelled internationally shall go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from date of arrival back into Canada.
• Health Care workers who have traveled internationally, truckers, rail, airline or other working crews are exempt from this advisory only if they are required to work to maintain essential services, provide emergency health care services and maintain supply chain, and are supervised by Infection, Prevention Control Officers and/or Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace.
• All persons who have been identified by a Medical Health Officer as a close contact of a person or persons with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) shall go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from the date of last having been exposed to COVID-19.
• All persons who have become symptomatic while on mandatory self-isolation shall call HealthLine 811 and follow HealthLine’s directives.
• All persons who are household members of a person having laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 shall immediately go into mandatory self-isolation, call HealthLine 811 and follow HealthLine’s directives.
The following previously announced measures are effective March 23, 2020, throughout Saskatchewan:
• The closure of restaurants, food courts, cafeterias, cafes, bistros and similar facilities. Exceptions are take out with two metre distancing between customers during pick-up; drive through food services; delivery of food products; soup kitchens, not-for-profit community and religious kitchens with two metre distancing between tables.
• The closure of all recreational and entertainment facilities including fitness centers, casinos, bingo halls, arenas, curling rinks, swimming pools, galleries, theatres, museums and similar facilities.
• The closure of all personal service facilities including tattooists, hairdressers, barbers, acupuncturists, acupressurists, cosmetologists, electrologists, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists, suntanning parlours, relaxation masseuses, facilities in which body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services.
• The closure of dental, optometrist, chiropractic, registered massage therapy and podiatry clinics except for non-elective procedures.
• All daycare facilities are limited to maximum of eight children unless they can configure the facility so that a maximum of eight children are kept in room and be in accordance with the Saskatchewan child care guidelines for care.
• All daycares that are co-located with a long-term care or personal care home that meet the above restriction shall be segregated with a private entrance so that there are no shared common areas with the home and no interaction between daycare children and residents of the facility.
Use the online symptom self assessment tool to determine if you should contact HealthLine 811.
Public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.