‘Time for patience is over,’ says Moe; mandatory masking, vaccine passport being implemented in Sask.

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Saskatchewan continues to add COVID-19 cases at an unprecedented pace — with unvaccinated children making up the largest share of new positives.

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Saskatchewan’s premier says the “time for patience is over” and that the province is putting in place mandatory masking requirements as well as implementing vaccine passports, all amidst the largest surge of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

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The mandatory masking is set to start Friday for indoor public spaces, with vaccine passports or a required proof of a negative COVID-19 test being implemented on Oct. 1 for select venues and services. As well, employees of Crown corporations will have to be vaccinated or provide repeated proof of negative tests.

“As a government, we have been patient with those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated. But the time for patience is over,” Premier Scott Moe said in a video posted Thursday morning in advance of an afternoon press conference with Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“The vast majority of Saskatchewan people have done their part. Unfortunately today we are faced with a fourth wave, resulting in increased case numbers and a significant capacity pressure in our health care system which is close to exceeding what we have faced before. But unlike previous waves, this wave of the pandemic is being driven almost entirely by one group that consists of about 20 to 30 per cent of our population: those that have made the choice to remain unvaccinated.

“As a province and as a government, we have been very patient — possibly too patient. The time for…