NDP Leader calls for increased testing and processing capacity; reduced class sizes
SASKATOON - The alarming increase in Covid-19 cases in Saskatchewan in the past week is a serious cause for concern for the province. The NDP is calling for immediate action to increase testing capacity and reduce class sizes to slow the spread of the pandemic.
“The risk to the health of the people of Saskatchewan is currently very high, as is the significant effect on the province’s economy if we don’t get this pandemic under control,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We knew this second wave was coming and the government simply hasn’t done the work to protect people.”
The NDP is calling for more resources to be directed to increased testing and processing for Covid-19.
“We are hearing from people who have waited up to 10 days to receive their test results back only to find that they tested positive after being told they only had to self-monitor,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “Increased testing and timely results are absolutely critical to protect people and control the spread of the pandemic. Our health professionals are doing everything they can to keep people safe but they need more resources from the government to get to where we need to be.”
Despite a significant rise in cases locally, along with huge spikes in our neighbouring provinces of Manitoba and Alberta, Saskatchewan continues to test below the national average (71%) with long delays in results.
Meili also renewed the NDP’s call for reduction in class sizes.
“The government has reduced gatherings to 10 people but we are still sending our kids and teachers into classrooms with 30 or more children. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Meili. “The government must take immediate steps to identify alternate venues that can be used for additional class space and hire more teachers and educational assistants so that we can keep our kids safe, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and make sure we don’t have to shut everything down again.”
Meili also identified the need for clear enforcement of mandatory mask orders and for the consideration of extending the order to other areas of the province outside of Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert where there are significant increases in cases.
“The pandemic doesn’t care where Saskatoon ends and Martensville begins, or where the line is between White City and Regina,” said Meili. “We have to keep each other safe with clear, consistent rules that apply to us all as we battle Covid-19 together.”
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