Saskatchewan Announces Changes to COVID-19 Testing and Isolation Requirements

The Saskatchewan Government announced updates to COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines in a news conference held on December 30, 2021.

The following changes to the mandatory isolation and face covering public health order are effective immediately:

  • A positive COVID-19 test now includes a positive result on a self-administered rapid antigen test, even if a later PCR test is negative. Asymptomatic people who test positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test are no longer recommended to get a PCR test to confirm, but instead should assume they have COVID-19 and self-isolate.
  • Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 on either a rapid antigen test or PCR test must self-isolate for five days instead of 10 days.
  • A fully vaccinated person who tests positive for COVID-19 and develops a fever must self-isolate until 24 hours after the fever has subsided.

Other self-isolation requirements will remain unchanged. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of a positive test or 48 hours after symptoms have ended, whichever is later. Close contacts must continue to self-isolate for 14 days from the day of last exposure, unless they are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cold and flu-like symptoms.

Free rapid antigen tests are currently available to individuals throughout the province. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees may receive free rapid antigen testing kits from a local distribution centre and larger businesses may receive free rapid tests through the federal Rapid Testing for COVID-19 Screening in the Workplace initiative. More details on how to obtain free rapid antigen tests are available on the Government of Saskatchewan website.

The Premier also announced that the province will not implement gathering restrictions or new public health orders at this time, but is not discounting the possibility of imposing additional measures in the future.

MLT Aikins LLP will continue to monitor for further amendments and changes to COVID-19 restrictions. Employers with any questions regarding compliance with testing and isolation requirements are encouraged to contact our labour and employment law team.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.