The Saskatchewan Health Authority has announced COVID-19 testing is being expanded, and more health programs and services began to reopen in the Border City on Monday.
The SHA said anyone who requests a test will receive one, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
Further health services such enhanced mental health and addictions support, chronic disease management, wellness programs, stroke prevention, specialized services for clients with developmental disabilities and autism and brain injury programs has received the signal to resume activities.
In a provincial release, SHA Chief Executive Officer, Scott Livingstone, spoke to the level of eagerness from patients and physicians to return to their medical services.
“Overall, we’ve been pleased with our ability to bring services back online, while still implementing strategies to keep patients and providers safe,” said Livingstone.
“Patients and their families have been very understanding of the additional screening measures and changes to how they had traditionally received service. Both staff and physicians are happy to be seeing their patients again, as well.”
The SHA has noted the volume of surgeries has increased at every phase of the medical service reopening process, whether they were urgent or elective procedures.
In this next phase of reopening, the number of surgeries will increase to around 80 per cent of the levels seen before the pandemic.
Medical imaging services have increased as well, now operating at about 90 per cent capacity of the pre-COVID levels.
Even though face-to-face services are being offered again, people will still have the ability to take advantage of virtual care appointments where they are offered.
Since it came into play in March, there have been more that 175,000 virtual care appointments across the province.
Livingstone claims the SHA will continue closely monitoring the coronavirus as facilities continue to reopen.
“As we expand services, we are still also continuing to keep focused on COVID-19 support as well,’ Livingstone said. “We’ve entered our ‘new normal,’ meaning while there is still some room to increase some services, we cannot let our guard down on the pandemic, especially as we progress towards the Fall.”
The SHA says their labs are currently processing around 600 tests each day, adding the province has the capacity to process nearly 1,800 a day if needed.
Patients getting tested will be prioritized based on a number of factors and patient need.