Coronavirus: Fish, antiques waiting at Saskatchewan garage and yard sales

Coronavirus: Fish, antiques waiting at Saskatchewan garage and yard sales

Garage and yard sales are underway after getting the green light on Tuesday in Phase 4.2 of the provincial government’s Re-Open Saskatchewan plan.

Kali Boychuk didn’t wait long to start preparing for her sale in Saskatoon’s Sutherland neighbourhood and get rid of items that’ve been piling up.

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“Ever since the wintertime we’ve had stuff accumulating in our garage, pretty much we have a family of five, and so once these garage sales were permitted again, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to sell some of the items we no longer needed,” Boychuk said on Wednesday.

“We have kids’ clothes, toys, furniture, music stand… we’re actually selling fish. I know that might sound really funny but we have a couple of fish that we are looking to sell.”

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The province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said participants should follow the same principles that apply to shopping at stores.

“What we have seen, for example, from the retail sector is that businesses have really laid out their business plans really well and all of us have learned how to shop safely and we would really like those same principles when we go to a garage sale,” Shahab said on Tuesday.

“The onus is on … the person having it. Obviously, it’s not a formal business. It’s a homeowner who’s choosing to have a garage sale. But the onus is also on the person purchasing — both have shared responsibility.

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“Just be conscious of the fact that they need to minimize risk to themselves from purchasing something that may be gently used as things are in garage sales.”

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Boychuk said the plan’s guidelines provide a baseline of what they need to keep everybody safe from the potential transmission of COVID-19.

“We’re going to be putting up signs that say that everyone needs to be social distancing and we are going to be providing hand sanitizer and spacing out the tables… just to make sure everyone’s staying safe,” she said.

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Boychuk said they had around 50 people show up by noon on Friday. Her garage sale continues on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 137 Rita Cres.

Some of the plan’s guidelines for garage and yard sales are as follows:

  • Group sizes cannot exceed what is allowable in the current public health order;
  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres between individuals;
  • Group events are not permitted at this time, including with extended households;
  • Tables and other frequently touched items should be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day;
  • For cash transactions, ensure hands are washed or sanitized after handling money. Accept cashless payment if possible;
  • Non-medical masks are recommended where physical distancing is uncertain or cannot be maintained; and
  • Avoid handling items and objects for sale unless necessary.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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