Saskatoon city council calls special meeting on COVID-19 risk

City councillors will be talking about whether to bring in special COVID-19 restrictions at a special meeting on Monday afternoon.

Last week, the city upgraded its COVID-19 risk indicator to status red after seeing a jump in cases of COVID-19, as well as an increase in test positivity rates.

The escalation to status red means that the city could bring in a number of restrictions, including closing City Hall and city-owned leisure centres.

The change in status also could mean mandatory testing for all staff reporting to the workplace, whether they’re vaccinated or not.

The city would also be able to ask the province to declare a state of emergency.

Any changes would need to be approved by city council.

According to the city’s website, as of January 5, the seven-day average for COVID cases per 100,000 people was 30.5 and the seven-day average test positivity rate was 17.6 per cent. Both of those measures tip the city into the red category.

The risk assessment system was set up by the city last year to help the city make decisions based on the level of COVID-19 present in the community. The risk criteria spans four levels: minimal risk (green), caution (yellow), high risk (orange) and critical (red). 

Last week, the city’s Emergency Management Organization said that there had been no disruption to city services like garbage collection, snow removal or water treatment.

Fire and police departments have also not seen a reduction in service.

Officials will continue to monitor the situation.

The meeting will start at 4 pm and will be available on the city’s website.

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