Sask. health care staff 'can’t keep up' during 4th wave of COVID-19

Regina infectious disease expert Dr. Alex Wong is warning about the strain being put on the health care system as COVID-19 case numbers grow.

“We can see, obviously that our hospitalizations and our ICU admits with COVID are continuing to rise very quickly,” Dr. Wong said.

“This is not a huge surprise because, again, our case loads are rising really quickly as well.”

As of Friday, active cases in the province are up to 2,755 - up more than 500 per cent from the 449 active cases one month ago.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also climbing, up more than 130 per cent with 135 current hospitalizations compared to 58 a month ago.

Wong said the burden on the health care system is getting to a point where the workers are beginning to suffer.

“Our case numbers are at the point right now where our public health people can’t keep up,” Dr. Wong said

Wong is calling for the re-introduction of mandates to the province to slow the fourth wave.

“It is a real concern because it’s not like we’re shutting stuff down, so people are coming into hospital, needing support for everything non-COVID related,” Wong told CTV News.

“This is why we’ve been calling very aggressively for additional mitigation measures like masking, and certifications and so fourth.”

He said getting the vaccine is one way to help keep numbers down.

“Anything that’s going to help push more first and second doses into arms I think is going to make a big difference."

Lyle Karasiuk, director of public affairs for Parkland Ambulance Care, said paramedics have also been taking on increased workloads since the start of the pandemic.

“With the increased workload of the pandemic that has resulted in paramedics having to don additional protective equipment, take additional protective steps, and continue to care for patients in new and innovative ways.”

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