Lack of action on COVID-19 putting workers at risk, CUPE demands province-wide mandatory masking policy

REGINA – CUPE Saskatchewan is deeply disappointed in the Sask Party government’s unwillingness to take immediate action to protect workers and families from the spread of COVID-19.

“The provincial government’s so-called ‘return to basics’ approach to COVID fails to implement even the most basic regulations to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Closing hookah bars and shutting down bars earlier will not do enough to curb the ballooning rates of infection.”

CUPE is also concerned that the province is only implementing mandatory masking for indoor public spaces in communities with a population of over 5,000 people.

“Small town Saskatchewan is not immune to the impact of COVID-19. In the last two weeks, we have had outbreaks in many smaller communities such as Indian Head, Esterhazy, and Big River – including an outbreak at a long-term care facility in Indian Head,” added Henley. “It is unacceptable that the steps announced today leaves many of our members across the province at risk.”

“We all need to be taking extraordinary steps to protect each other from the spread of this virus – and to protect the front-line workers who are sacrificing so much to be there when we need them,” said Henley. “That is why this government should implement a province-wide mandatory masking policy in indoor public places immediately.”

The provincial government announced additional public health measures on November 13, which go into effect as of Monday, November 16.

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