Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has tested positive for COVID-19, a day after appearing at a news conference arguing against stricter public-health measures to respond to the Omicron variant.
Mr. Moe posted a photo of a positive rapid antigen test on Thursday morning.
“I’m feeling fine, but will be self-isolating and working from home for the next five days,” Mr. Moe wrote. Saskatchewan’s rules dictate that anyone who is fully vaccinated must isolate for five days after testing positive for COVID-19.
A day earlier, Mr. Moe hosted a news conference alongside health officials and with reporters in the room. He took off his mask while speaking. The province’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Saqib Shahab, kept his masks on and reporters in the room were also wearing masks.
During the news conference, he argued that gathering limits, which have been put in place elsewhere in the country, are ineffective against Omicron.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of last month.
The Omicron variant is extremely transmissible and sweeping the globe. So far, it has not put the same pressure on Canadian intensive care units as its predecessor, Delta, but ICU admissions are climbing in places like Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The number of patients in Saskatchewan ICUs has been falling, but non-ICU hospital admissions are up.
Mr. Moe said Saskatchewanians should prepare for Omicron to disrupt services, such as school and health-care. The province released its surge plan on Thursday for the health-care system, which includes establishing “go teams” of medical professionals who can quickly deploy to “maintain continuity of key services” across the province.
Dr. Shahab, the province’s top doctor, has advised residents to reduce social contacts, cutting out non-essential interactions such as those beyond school or work. On Wednesday, he also suggested people who share crucial roles within an organization avoid gathering in the same room, so if one falls ill, others will be able to keep the institution running.
Saskatchewan was the only province that did not delay the return to in-person learning for students.
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