Sask. NDP calling on province to expand testing and mask use to slow spread of COVID-19

Due to the increasingly high COVID-19 case numbers in Saskatchewan, the NDP is calling on the government to do more to curb the spread of the virus.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili says the government should have acted early in the pandemic rather than wait until after the election, adding they knew a second wave was coming.

“Of course, they knew these numbers were coming,” said Meili. “They had access to the public health information, they have access to the modeling that we should all have access to, but they wouldn’t take any action until after the election, endangering Saskatchewan people.”

Meili says the province is lacking when it comes to testing, hindering the province’s ability to deal with positive cases properly.

“We still have people who are waiting 10 days between getting tested and a positive result and going about their lives potentially spreading COVID-19 in that time,” said Meili. “We’ve been asking for action on this for months. We need immediate action on testing if we’re going to get ahead of this.”

He adds the government implementing mandatory masks is a start, but he doesn’t understand why they only included specific cities. He says the virus doesn’t respect city limits.

“We need to be looking at what the evidence says, that’s fairly arbitrary to say it’s in the cities of Regina, PA and Saskatoon,” said Meili. “What about Shellbrooke, where the Premier’s from and where we have one of the worst outbreaks in the country right now. If there are going to be places where it doesn’t apply, we need to know why, we need clear answers.”

The NDP also repeated their call for the province to re-evaluate class sizes in order to make schools safer.

The Saskatchewan Party responded with a terse message from Premier Scott Moe.

The statement from Moe reads:

“Mr. Meili’s allegations are irresponsible and false. Our government has consistently acted on the advice of public health officials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have no time for Mr. Meili’s ill-advised attempts at politicizing our response to COVID-19. These statements only serve as an insult to the professionalism of the dedicated public health officials that have provided sound guidance – guidance which is based entirely on public health considerations, not on political considerations like election timing as Mr. Meili is irresponsibly suggesting.

“Our government will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our families remain safe and our economy remains open by continuing to act on the advice of Dr. Shahab and Saskatchewan’s dedicated public health officials.”

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