Sask. Health Authority Going Into Next Phase of its COVID-19 Surge Plan

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is moving ahead with the next step of its COVID-19 surge plan.  The plan is in response to a forecasted increase of COVID-19 patients in the next two weeks, that could see over 500 lab confirmed cases a day.

SHA Emergency Operations Chief, Derek Miller says this will boost COVID-19 capacity to approximately 250 patients in the province and up to 64 ICU patients.  To put this into context, he says that’s equivalent to about 28% more ICU capacity than currently exists in Saskatoon and Regina combined.  Miller explains to meet those demands the SHA will create additional spaces where ventilated patients are being taken care of.  He says they will also be surging in resources, where needed, in terms of staff and physicians over the next two weeks.

In order to accommodate for contact tracing that could reach approximately 560 average cases a day (or 6,000 hours of work), Miller says they will need about another 500 workers.  This will consist of licensed and unlicensed workers, as well as data entry staff.  In order to reach the numbers needed, service slowdowns will be required as the SHA will look to redeploy full time staff to meet the need.  The SHA will also attempt to strengthen their supplemental labour pool to increase the responsiveness to outbreaks and situations where large numbers of staff are required to isolate.

The SHA acknowledges these changes will result in some Saskatchewan residents experiencing localized slow downs, but are committed to making these efforts as time-limited and targeted as possible.


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