Tools For Saskatchewan Residents To Navigate COVID-19 Information
The Government of Saskatchewan has made a number of tools available for the public to ask questions, access information and obtain support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan, a number of these tools have been introduced or optimized to provide residents with reliable forums for questions and information.
The Government of Saskatchewan has acted on concerns regarding technical difficulties resulting from the high volume of calls received by HealthLine 811. On March 17, the HealthLine 811 system was replaced resulting in an immediate improvement in service.
Originally capable of handling 32 concurrent callers, the 811 system replacement expanded capacity to handle more than 900 concurrent callers, with an option for further expansion as needed, and added a convenient callback feature providing an unlimited number of callbacks. More than 250 additional staff have been trained to receive calls on the expanded system, which has received almost 50,000 calls since the system replacement.
Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Toll Free Line
The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency’s (SPSA) toll free line, 1-855-559-5502, is now being offered 24 hours, 7 days a week. The SPSA toll free line was established in order to answer non-health specific questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure compliance with public health orders that are mandatory under the state of emergency, the SPSA toll free line is able to receive and coordinate alleged violations of the mandatory public health orders. Non-compliance concerns can also be submitted online. The form can be found under the Public Health Orders section at www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19. SPSA operators will work with public health officials and policing agencies to follow up on compliance concerns to ensure compliance with public health orders.
Any non-health related questions regarding COVID-19, including concerns regarding compliance with public health orders, can be directed to the toll free line at 1-855-559-5502.
COVID-19 Health System Information
The www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19 website is an online source for all COVID-19 information in Saskatchewan. Since being launched, the website has had more than 4 million visits.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Self-Assessment Tool has been used more than 350,000 times in March. This online resource, hosted at www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19, helps people determine whether they need a referral for COVID-19 testing.
The COVID-19 public inquiry email at COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca has responded to more than 4,200 email inquiries since it began operating on March 15. Members of the public with email inquiries can expect a response within 24 hours from the dedicated response team.
To make residents aware of actions they can take to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic, a COVID-19 public health advertising campaign has been running online and in print throughout March, and will continue to run in April. Public health advertising promotes messages of healthy infection control practices, and help educate people about practices such as social distancing and self-isolation. Further advertising will occur in the coming weeks.
Business Response Team
The Business Response Team, led by the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, has worked with businesses to identify program supports available to them both provincially and federally, and to answer questions regarding allowable businesses. Since its creation, the Business Response Team has assisted 1,613 clients over the phone and 690 clients via email for a total of 2,303.
Single Point of Contact for Donations and Supplies
Government has encouraged individuals, businesses, manufacturers and organizations that are offering to donate or manufacture supplies to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since its inception, more than 800 emails have been received from individuals, businesses, manufacturers and organizations offering supplies, solutions and innovations. Staff are working to verify and contact all those who have submitted. Through the generosity and resources of Saskatchewan individuals, businesses and manufacturers, 57 donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks and other equipment and an additional 85 purchase opportunities have been identified.
Government is also pursuing a number of opportunities to repurpose production, technologies and accommodations for health and safety needs that have been identified through the single point of contact.