New guidelines for Saskatoon nightclubs as province reports 67 new COVID-19 cases

There are five new cases of COVID-19 in Prince Albert

The province is reporting 67 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 new recoveries on Wednesday.

There are seven new cases in the North Central region bringing the total to 126 cases in the region. Five of the new cases are in Prince Albert which is designated as North Central Zone 2. This brings the total of active cases in the city to 49.

In other parts of the province, there are seven new cases in the North West, 11 new cases in North East, 15 new cases in Regina, and 25 new cases in Saskatoon bringing the total to 195 cases in the city.

The provincial government announced new guidelines for Saskatoon nightclubs on Wednesday. Alcohol cannot be consumed by people including patrons, staff, and owners from 10 p.m. until 9:30 a.m. and nightclubs must close by 11 p.m. The guidelines are effective Friday, Oct. 30.

Previous guidelines are still in place such as six people to a table only, and mingling with guests at other tables is not allowed. Dance floors are still prohibited, and business owners must ensure patrons and staff are following physical distancing. Staff are also required to wear masks.

Patrons should also wear masks in restaurants and nightclubs at all times with the expectation of when their food or drinks arrive, chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab recommended on Wednesday.

All licensed establishments are also recommended to take contact information from guests to help with contact tracing in the event of possible transmission.

When asked why there aren’t changes to restrictions for churches or places of worship, Shahab said “for the most part churches (and) places of worship have been extremely diligent.”

“I still feel that where we are at now, if there are superspreading events, obviously in some cases guidelines are not followed at all, that should not penalize an entire sector,” Shahab said.

Shahab said transmission in Prince Albert is not linked to a specific sector like Saskatoon, but rather in home or workplace settings. He said there’s been reports of “large buffet-type lunches” in workplaces.

“You can’t have a buffet in a restaurant and you certainly shouldn’t host those kinds of lunch events in a workplace,” Shahab said.

“I think workplaces really need to revise their COVID plans, a third of our cases are in work settings.”

North Central Zone 1, which is north of Prince Albert, has two new cases and 68 active cases.

North Central Zone 1 includes Albertville, Big River, Birch Hills, Blaine Lake, Candle Lake, Canwood, Chitek Lake, Christopher Lake, Debden, Leask, Marcelin, Meath Park, Paddockwood, Parkside, Pebble Baye, Shellbrook, Timber Bay, Waskesiu and Weirdale.