by Phil Ambroziak
Meadow Lake and area residents will soon have a satellite location away from the local hospital and clinic where they can be tested for coronavirus.
According to a source within the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the SHA plans to open a local COVID-19 testing site in the community. The site is expected to open this week, but the exact location itself is being withheld for patient privacy reasons.
“It’s all about attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” explained the SHA source who asked not to be identified.
Meanwhile, members of the public are being asked by the health authority not to rely on Facebook, Twitter, as well as other forms of social media or third-party online reporting for up-to-date and factual information about COVID-19 and what steps can be taken to help stop the spread of the virus.
“There’s all kinds of (expletive) on Facebook and whatnot, but for the most up-to-date information, people are encouraged to go straight to the source and visit the government’s official website concerning COVID-19,” the source continued. “The information provided here is coming straight from the government and from Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer.”
This website can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.
“Not only does this site contain up-to-the-minute information about COVID-19 cases throughout the province, it also includes a self-evaluation tool to help you determine if you should or shouldn’t self-isolate and so on,” the source added. “Some people think the information they’re reading, watching or listening to is all the same, but it’s not. This site is ground zero.”
Until the COVID-19 scare is under control, members of the public are also being asked by the SHA not to visit Northland Pioneers Lodge, and to avoid the local clinic and hospital emergency room except for cases of just that – an emergency.
“When it comes to coronavirus, there’s about a 15 per cent higher mortality rate in people over the age of 80,” the source noted. “And, a lot of people could be carrying the coronavirus and not even know it, thus spreading it. So please stay away and use common sense.”
Doctors at the local clinic are even asking patients who feel the need to seek medical help to call ahead and see if there is a possibility of receiving care over the phone.
“The plan isn’t to make things difficult for people, but rather to eventually make things easier and to, hopefully, save lives,” the source concluded.
As of this week’s news deadline, Saskatchewan confirmed a total of 16 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. The most recent cases, eight overall, include people who range in age from their 20s to their 40s, many of whom travelled from out of country and from other parts of Canada.
Guidance on travel and mass gatherings is changing regularly as additional preventative measures are put in place to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19. Again, for the latest advice to the public and information on prevention measures being taken, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.
If you have recently travelled internationally and are experiencing respiratory or flu-like symptoms, call HealthLine 811.
Public inquiries can be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.
For more information and local stories regarding COVID-19, visit northernprideml.com/covid-19/