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Update to COVID-19 Self-Isolation, Close Contact Protocols

Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 response must transition to adapt to the challenges of the current Omicron wave, taking into account the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, as well as wide adoption of at-home rapid testing and the proven effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Effective this Friday, January 28, residents who receive a positive test result on a PCR or rapid antigen test will be required to self-isolate for five days, regardless of vaccination status. You are required to self-isolate for five days from the date of test or 24 hours after fever has resolved without the aid of fever-reducing medications and all other symptoms have been improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later.  Previously, unvaccinated residents who had tested positive were required to self-isolate for 10 days. 

Close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases will no longer be required to self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status. 

If you are a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case, you should self-monitor for symptoms and continue to use publicly-available rapid antigen tests for asymptomatic surveillance. 

Parents and caregivers are no longer required to notify schools about positive test results for the purposes of close contact notification. Those who test positive are required to self-isolate and will be absent from school and activities for the duration of the self-isolation period. 

If you are currently self-isolating for 10 days because you are an unvaccinated confirmed case or a close contact of a case, you may be able to amend your self-isolation period as of noon, January 28, in accordance with this policy if asymptomatic.  If you are symptomatic, you must continue to self-isolate until your symptoms resolve. 

All residents should be self-monitoring, self-testing and self-managing to help prevent transmission, given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

Self-Monitoring for COVID-19
If you are experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, including cough, sore throat, sneezing without fever, it is recommended that you stay home and care for your symptoms, use rapid antigen testing and self-isolate based on a positive result.  Free rapid antigen tests are available at more than 600 locations around the province at this time, with Indigenous Services Canada receiving a supply for First Nations communities.

If you are experiencing significant or worsening cold or flu-like symptoms including fever or are considered at-risk due to chronic/underlying health conditions, contact HealthLine 811 who will advise if you should receive a PCR test or if you are a candidate for available treatmentsPCR testing remains available to healthcare workers and eligible at-risk groups.   

Public Health Order Remains in Effect
Under the current public health orders, masking is mandatory in all indoor public spaces including schools; mandatory self-isolation is required for all confirmed cases; and proof of vaccination or negative test requirements are in place for public access to a list of establishments, businesses and event venues.  The current public health orders are available at saskatchewan.ca/covid-19.

Municipalities, businesses, workplaces and event organizers may also require proof of vaccination or negative testing beyond those places that are described in the public health order.

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