Saturday, November 21, 2020
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From ‘outright denial’ to ‘masking up:’ COVID-19 surges in rural Sask.

From 'outright denial' to 'masking up:' COVID-19 surges in rural Sask.
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He’s the reeve of the Rural Municipality of Auvergne, managing an area 100 kilometres south of Swift Current along Highway 13 that covers Ponteix and Aneroid.

The RM serves 412 constituents over 850 square kilometres; it’s about an hour’s drive north from the Montana border.

Marleau thinks it’s tricky for the province to find a balance of restrictions that don’t kill the economy.

“That’s not ideal either, but if you let this thing run rampant it could turn into a disaster real quick,” he said.

The RM sits in the SHA’s south central region, sub-region 1, which includes places like Assiniboia, Coronach, Chaplin and Waldeck, but excludes Moose Jaw and Swift Current. By Friday, the sub-region had 13 active cases.

The reeve says constituents’ regard for COVID-19 falls on a spectrum, “from outright denial to people who are concerned and are masking up.”

Out in “the smaller centres we can see there’s a feeling that we’re somewhat isolated from it, but by the same token, all it takes is sort of one case to show up and people let their guard down; it spreads pretty rapidly,” Marleau said.

He urged people to wear masks indoors.

“If (people) mask up before they go in, that will help quite a bit. It’s not full-proof, but it will help quite a bit for sure,” he said.

Workers approach a pickup truck at a mobile COVID-19 testing station in Indian Head, Saskatchewan on Nov. 20, 2020. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post

Indian Head’s mayor sounded bewildered by comments on social media advocating for no masks.

“I just … why wouldn’t we take the chance? If it’s going to save a life or save a friend, why wouldn’t we take the chance of wearing one?” Cole said.



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