SASKATOON - Today, Leader of the Official Opposition Ryan Meili and Official Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat called on the provincial government to reconvene the legislature, release provincial modelling and transparent case rate information for school-aged kids and take steps now to save the school year.
“Scott Moe has given up on the fight against COVID-19, and he’s not being honest with the people of Saskatchewan. We still haven’t seen the provincial modelling, and we still don’t have a clear picture of what the 4th wave has meant for kids who can’t yet be protected by vaccines,” said Mowat. “If the premier and the health minister have information that suggests their lack of a back-to-school plan is anything but a collision course with disaster, they need to step up and make their case now.”
Saskatchewan does not routinely report COVID-19 cases for children under 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. The week before school started, children and youth test positivity was an alarming 13%, and active cases in children and youth have increased five-fold since the end of July. Nearly 20% of COVID-19 cases in August were in children under 12.
In just the first four days of school, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Raymore and Punnichy have all reported cases in classrooms. In the Regina Public School Division alone 8 schools have reported 13 cases, even though the province’s reported school outbreak page remains empty.
“Premier Scott Moe is asking families to fly blind into crowded classrooms in this fourth wave of the pandemic,” said Meili. “It was a mistake to ignore public health expert advice on keeping kids and staff safe in school. We’re seeing the dangerous and potentially deadly impact of his choice to ignore the risks the 4th wave poses to our kids.”
New Democrats are also calling for:
- Immediate release of provincial modelling
- Inclusion of data for children under 12 in daily reporting
- Details on child hospitalization and intensive care admissions
- Masking in all schools
- Vaccination requirements for teachers and school staff
- Immediate return to the Legislative Assembly for public accountability on Scott Moe’s mishandling of the 4th wave