Pour Sask. COVID-19 quarantine requirements erode accountability: USask expert

The Saskatchewan government’s decision to end mandatory self-isolation will have a direct impact on the public’s willingness to stay home if infected. COVID-19according to a professor at University of Saskatchewan (USask).

All public health orders ended Monday, including a law requiring anyone with COVID-19 to self-isolate for at least five days after testing positive.

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“(The government has minimized accountability to the point where it’s really likely that there will be no real effort to self-isolate,” said Pamela Downe, USask professor and medical anthropologist.

Dropping the isolation requirement, she said, led to a weak chain of communication from the provincial government to smaller communities.

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Downe says accountability is needed “to some extent” to ensure people act in the best interest of the people.

“It could be from local communities, workplaces (or) educational institutions,” she said.

The chief medical officer, Dr Saqib Shahab, and provincial health officials continue to recommend self-isolation for 5 days.

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In an interview with Global News on Tuesday, Health Secretary Paul Merriman said people may choose to self-isolate for a shorter period.

“If you contract COVID-19… obviously, you should stay home for three to four days,” Merriman said. “But we don’t mandate that through the government.”

Since announcing the end of all COVID-19 restrictions, the Saskatchewan government has maintained that people have the tools to keep themselves and others safe, including masks, vaccines, and medical tests. quick test.

Merriman reiterated the government’s position that it is time to shift responsibility to people, rather than delegating actions through public health orders.

“I think at this point the government needs to start stepping out of people’s lives and holding them personally accountable so they can make an assessment of what they need to do,” Merriman said.

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The health minister said the government’s action was on the advice of Shahab and not political pressure, according to Merriman, who said “there is no race to be first in this”.

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In 2021, the Saskatchewan RCMP received 825 calls about people not self-isolating violating the public health order.

Health policy consultant Dr Dennis Kendel said ending the restrictions was “regrettable” and the public had no choice but to hope others made smart choices.

“The pandemic has not gone away yet. Kendel said.

Going forward, Kendel said he would like to see the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) improve its ability to communicate on issues like self-isolation. He cites an example of a lesser-known proposal on SHA’s website.

It says people should take precautions for up to 10 days after a positive result.

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“Continue to reduce exposure to others by looking away, wearing a mask, practicing respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and limiting contact, especially with those at high risk of severe illness (elderly older adults). , immunocompromised, etc) and places with high-risk people such as accessing long-term care,” the SHA website writes.

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Now, citizens need to commit to the good of their communities, Kendel said.

“We’re really in this, and if we want to reduce our risk, then we have to minimize the risk to others.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8653160/sask-covid-19-isolation-requirement-accountability-usask/ Pour Sask. COVID-19 quarantine requirements erode accountability: USask expert

Brian Lowry

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