As of April 4th, 2023, masks are no longer required in Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities. Yet, healthcare-acquired COVID-19 infections (HAIs) are associated with higher mortality rates when compared to COVID-19 infections acquired outside of a healthcare setting.
As of May 1st, COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at nine SHA facilities across Saskatchewan.
Healthcare workers, and especially nurses, are also at risk of being infected on the job, and potentially spreading COVID-19 to patients. One study found that among healthcare workers positive for COVID-19, 40% were asymptomatic at time of diagnosis.
Why does preventing infection matter?
Covid-19 is an airborne illness that spreads through the air and can linger like cigarette smoke.
All Covid patients (including vaccinated adults and children) are potentially at risk of long-term health damage or death, though some groups are disproportionately affected. These risks are repeated with each reinfection.
Long Covid affects around 10-20% of those who contract Covid-19.
Others Weigh In on Healthcare Masking
Dr. Tara Moriarty, Associate Professor University of Toronto, Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, co-founder of COVID-19 Resources Canada: “Promoting the safety of people at higher risk from COVID in essential healthcare settings is not only desirable. It is required if institutions truly support equitable, accessible care that promotes health.” Read the full statement.
BC’s Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender: “This week’s removal of masking directives in healthcare settings does not uphold a human rights-centered approach to public health.” Read the full statement.
Over 20,000 petitioners and rising: “Canadian hospitals need to maintain MASK mandates.” See the petition here.
Over 800 respondents to our Saskatchewan petition: “Restore masks in Saskatchewan’s medical settings.” See the petition here.