Coronavirus Canada Updates: Saskatchewan Health Minister points to poll for COVID-19 success

Coronavirus Canada Updates: Manitoba reports 198 new COVID-19 cases, with more than half in the north
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Manitoba reports 198 new COVID-19 cases, with more than half in the north

Saskatchewan’s Health Minister says a measure of his government’s success in responding to COVID-19 is polling data.

Paul Merriman was asked Thursday how the Saskatchewan Party government measures its success in dealing with the novel coronavirus.

He said a recent poll released by the Angus Reid Institute shows favourable results for the province.

“We are one of the best jurisdictions, if not the best jurisdiction, that has handled COVID in balancing the economy, people’s mental health and within our health-care system,” Merriman told reporters on the final day of the legislature sitting.

“So very proud of that.”

Merriman and his staff didn’t say what poll he was referring to. But an Angus Reid poll released Thursday said 55 per cent of 497 respondents polled in Saskatchewan in November think the province is doing a “good job” handling COVID-19. It was 77 per cent in June.

Saskatchewan’s seven-day average for daily COVID-19 cases sits at 283 and the province has the second-highest rate of active cases per capita in Canada, behind Alberta.

The province plans to have hundreds more health-care workers help with the pandemic, given weeks of high case numbers. Officials have warned the virus is spreading at a rate that isn’t sustainable for the health system.

Saskatchewan reported another 324 new infections Thursday and four more deaths, bringing the province’s pandemic death toll to 75.

There were 138 people in hospital being treated for the virus, with 31 of them receiving intensive care.

Saskatchewan is the only western province that has yet to announce what public-health orders will be in place over the holidays.

Premier Scott Moe said officials are discussing whether more restrictions should be brought in to slow the virus’s spread.

“We probably are looking more towards, at the minimum, status quo and likely even looking at some potential tweaking or some additions to those measures,” he said Thursday, following a virtual premiers’ meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about vaccines and health-care costs.

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