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Update: City response to Saskatchewan Re-Opening Roadmap, Step 3

For immediate release: July 8, 2021 - 4:38pm
FI21-2319

With over 71 percent of eligible residents over the age of 12 having received their first COVID-19 vaccination, and 49 percent eligible residents over the age of 12 being fully vaccinated, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the full implementation of Step 3 of the Re-Opening Roadmap will occur on Sunday, July 11th.

This means that all Provincial Public Health Orders will be removed, including the province-wide mandatory mask order in public and the removal of limits on events and gathering sizes.

“The lifting of Public Health Orders is an exciting time in our City. In the next few weeks there will be many adjustments and I encourage residents to continue to be patient and kind with each other and City staff as we all move forward together again," says Pamela Goulden-McLeod, Director of Emergency Management Organization.

The City’s approach to recovery will be phased and methodical. Important work continues within many City departments as there are many programs and services that are being reviewed prior to full resumption.

“COVID-19 created many challenges for our staff and the residents of Saskatoon. Thank you to our staff and our residents for all their work since March 2020 to help keep our community safe. We appreciate the patience and kindness residents have shown when accessing City services.”

The City will follow the direction of the Provincial Government and the Re-Opening Roadmap. As of July 11th, we will:

  • Remove the requirement to wear masks
  • Remove the requirement to physically distance
  • Continue to use barriers
  • Continue the current increased cleaning

Staff, facility visitors and patrons are welcome to continue to wear masks if they choose and physically distance where possible.

Return of Staff to the Workplace

As noted last month, the City is preparing to return roughly 30% of its staff – who have been working at home since the onset of the pandemic – back to the workplace by September 1.

Some City teams have already determined there is still a requirement for masks or physical distancing for some tasks or meetings, including those who work in critical services, or for those who enter residences and other businesses.

Additional measures may be re-introduced to protect staff from the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. Department Directors will work with City Health and Safety staff to complete assessments as needed.

Until Sunday, July 11, when visiting an indoor civic facility such as a Leisure Centre, City Hall, Transit Customer Service, and while riding a Saskatoon Transit bus, protocols must still be followed by all staff and customers including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccination. This includes wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance.

Throughout the summer, any remaining outdoor and facility signage indicating mask wearing and/or physical distancing will be addressed by City crews. 

Saskatoon Transit 

Physical distancing will no longer be promoted at shelters or on the bus. All transit vehicles will operate at full standing capacity.

Operators and customers will not be required to wear a mask when operating or riding the bus nor will they be required in the Transit Customer Service Centre. Masks will be optional for both customers and operators.

Operators will be encouraged to continue to use the vinyl barriers for continued safety; however, they will not be required.

The health and safety of employees and customers remain a number one priority and enhanced cleaning protocols will continue, including the fogging of buses each night.

City Hall 

The Payment Centre, Customer Service & Collections counters located in the lobby of City Hall continue to be open for in-person transactions. Plexiglass shields will remain in place at Corporate Revenue Customer Service wickets.

Additional customer services previously available on other floors of City Hall may be available from the lobby starting September 1. Access to the remainder of City Hall will be reviewed along with cafeteria services on the fourth floor. 

Residents and customers are still encouraged to continue to use convenient online services.  

Announced earlier, City Council meetings will resume in Chambers this September. Watch for more details on upcoming in-person meetings as they are announced.

Leisure Facilities & Programs

Leisure Centres and seasonal facilities and attractions will be preparing to increase regular programming in the Fall. Details will be available on the City’s website, social media channels, and in the seasonal Leisure Guide. The Leisure Guide will be available starting Friday, August 6 on saskatoon.ca/leisureguide or at any leisure facility, library or over 120 retail locations where the StarPhoenix is sold.

Specific information regarding upcoming swimming lessons and other registered programming over the summer will be shared with registrants over the next week.

Drop-in program capacity will increase starting Sunday, July 11.

Saskatoon Forestry Farm & Zoo

Most areas of the zoo will be open without restrictions and the one-way path will be removed. The Meerkat display is now open; however, the Children's Zoo will remain closed at this time.  The Affinity Learning Centre is closed for construction.

Public Pathways & Pedestrian Crosswalks

Pedestrian bridge crossings, walkways, overpasses and underpasses will return to two-way traffic and the temporary signs will be removed over the next few weeks. 

At traffic signals, the signs advising pedestrians they don't need to push the buttons to receive walk signals will be removed over the next few weeks.

Waste & Recycling

Plastic/acrylic COVID-19 barriers being used in various business and public spaces are not accepted in the City's recycling program. While this material does fall under #7 plastics, it is not marketable; therefore it is considered garbage. Flexible plastic sheets or screens are also considered garbage.

If you choose to remove your barriers, anything larger than 2 ft x 2 ft must be taken to the landfill or reused for alternative purposes. Items placed outside of carts or bins will not be collected and are considered illegal dumping with fines starting at $500.

Plexiglas barriers can be donated to Prairie Harm Reduction: operations@prairiehr.ca; or International Women of Saskatoon: operations.systems@iwssaskatoon.org.

Facemasks, gloves, and other PPE material are also not accepted in the recycling and should be safely and securely discarded in the garbage.

Impound Lot

As of July 11, normal hours of operation at the impound lot will resume, which are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Members of the public may drop in at any time during these hours of operation; appointments will no longer be required.

Public Engagement

In-person forms of public engagement, such as meetings and open houses, will be restored over the course of the year. Efforts will be made for in-person engagements to feel safe and comfortable for both attendees and staff. Virtual forms of engagement, such as online public surveys and online meetings, will continue to be offered to accommodate those who prefer providing their input this way. Currently scheduled virtual engagements will continue as planned.

City of Saskatoon Bylaw Court

The City of Saskatoon Bylaw Docket Court will be re-opening on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Confirm your new FIRST APPEARANCE adjourned date here.

Visit saskatoon.ca/bylaws for more information.

Watch for more information and announcements regarding programs and services at saskatoon.ca.