Sask. gov’t updates guidelines for places of worship, grad ceremonies

Updates have been made to the guidelines for places of worship and graduation celebrations as the provincial government prepares for phase four of the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan.

For places of worship like churches and temples, the number of people allowed will increase to one-third of the facility’s seating capacity to a maximum of 150 people – whichever is less. The guidelines apply to all worship services, including celebrations of life, weddings and outdoor ceremonies.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said on Thursday there are some specific activities that are not grouped in these new guidelines that people should be remember.

“It can’t include 150 people mingling among themselves, food at a buffet, dancing. Unfortunately, we can’t see that happening at this point,” said Dr. Shahab.

While the number of people allowed inside the building is going up, provincial public health measures and guidelines in the reopen plan will need to be followed by participants, such as physical distancing.

Dr. Shahab wants to make sure residents are able to take in these celebrations and significant events in a safe way.

“Banquets, where transmission has happened even in Saskatchewan in the recent past, where we still have to still think through how some of that can be managed while our numbers remain low,” he added. “Celebrations where food and banquets aren’t involved can certainly happen.”

In terms of graduation ceremonies, the government is presenting three different options for consideration:

  • Virtual services: the safest solution and the option that is being recommended by public health officials
  • Drive-in services: can proceed with the necessary public health measures in place
  • Outdoor services: they are permitted if hosted outdoors with a maximum of 30 graduates per class and an overall attendance of 150 people. This includes graduates, guests and staff members.

The government suggests schools with larger classes may need to hold multiple ceremonies in order to follow the public health order.

More information about public health measures and the province’s reopen plan can be found at the government’s website.


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