Saskatchewan Issues New Public Health Order Effective September 17

On September 16, 2021, the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan published a public health order reinstating mandatory mask and isolation requirements.

The order takes effect on September 17, 2021 and applies to all individuals, institutions, associations and other organizations within the Province of Saskatchewan and City of Lloydminster.

Mandatory Self-Isolation

All individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate until the later of 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the date that the positive COVID-19 test was administered (if the individual is asymptomatic).

Close contacts of individuals who test positive are required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of last exposure to COVID-19 and to contact the HealthLine at 811 if they experience any symptoms. However, this requirement to self-isolate does not apply if the close contact is fully vaccinated at the time of contact, unless the individual develops symptoms within 14 days of contact.

Other exemptions from the requirement to isolate include close contacts who are enrolled in school or daycare. Provided that they do not experience symptoms, these individuals are exempt from self-isolation requirements during the times that they attend school or daycare for educational purposes.

Face Coverings

The public health order stipulates that a face covering which “fully covers the nose, mouth and chin” must be worn in most indoor enclosed settings unless an exemption applies. Permitted face coverings can be medical or non-medical masks but cannot include a face shield or visor.

The order specifies that persons are not required to wear a face covering while alone in an enclosed area to which the public does not normally have access. Further limited exemptions from the face covering requirement include removing the face covering for security or identification purposes, or when receiving certain services.

The order also outlines narrow exceptions for when a mask cannot be worn for medical reasons.  However, even with an exemption, certain employees must wear a mask unless their duties are altered or other measures are approved by a public health officer.

The public health order will remain in effect until October 20, 2021, or until the Chief Medical Health Officer determines there is no longer a public threat.

MLT Aikins LLP is continuing to monitor for further amendments and updates to public health orders. Employers with any questions regarding accommodation or concerns regarding compliance with public health orders 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.