As of May 14, Saskatchewan has five new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 582.
Four of the new cases are in the Far North (La Loche area) and one is in the Regina region.
Of the 582 reported cases, 178 are considered active. Thirteen more people have recovered, bringing the provincial total to 398.
There are currently 10 people in hospital – seven are receiving inpatient care (three in the North, three in Saskatoon and one in Regina) and three are in intensive care (all in Saskatoon).
Of the 582 cases in the province:
• 139 cases are travellers;
• 302 are community contacts (including mass gatherings);
• 67 have no known exposures; and
• 76 are under investigation by local public health.
Overall in Saskatchewan:
• 48 cases are health care workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to health care in all instances.
• 210 of the cases are from the Far North, 163 are from the Saskatoon area, 106 from the North, 76 from the Regina area, 15 from the South and 12 from the Central region.
• 81 cases involve people 19 years of age and under, while the remainder are adults.
• 205 cases are in the 20-39 age range; 180 are in the 40-59 age range; 98 are in the 60-79 age range; and 18 are in the 80-plus range.
• 49 per cent of the cases are females and 51 per cent are males.
• Six deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported to date.
To date, 38,728 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the province. As of May 12, 2020, when other provincial and national numbers were available from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 29,962 people tested per million population, which is slightly below the national rate of 31,111 people tested per million population. This is due to decreased demand for testing, not a drop in testing capacity, due to the success of preventative measures and the reduction in positive cases in many areas of the province.
COVID-19 Testing Expansion Starting Soon
COVID-19 testing will soon be available to any Saskatchewan resident working outside the home, particularly those returning to work as part of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan.
The following at-risk populations will be proactively tested:
• All patients upon admission or in advance of a planned admission to an acute care hospital for a stay anticipated to be greater than 24 hours. This includes all expectant mothers entering a health facility to give birth.
• Immunocompromised asymptomatic individuals, including cancer patients in advance of undergoing immunosuppressive procedures such as chemotherapy.
• All health staff working with immunocompromised patients.
• Mobile (worksite) testing in high volume work settings (factories, industrial settings, etc.)
This is in addition to current testing requirements for:
• All residents identified by public health as a contact of someone known or suspected of having COVID-19.
• Individuals identified by public health at a high risk due to active spread of COVID-19 in their workplace or community.
• All residents upon admission and re-admission to long-term and personal care homes.
• All residents and staff in long-term and personal care homes upon notification of a COVID-19 positive resident or staff member.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority will establish the process to start testing this expanded list. Details on accessing testing will be provided the week of May 18.
In addition to expanded testing, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will increase active case finding in populations that are homeless or live in other vulnerable settings, and work will continue on increased active case finding with First Nations and Métis communities. Public Health will continue to identify and test individuals who are at high risk of infection due to spread of COVID-19 in their household, community or workplace.
If widespread transmission occurs in a community, a community-wide testing initiative would be implemented. The Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory currently has the capacity to complete 1,500 tests daily, as required. All residents experiencing even mild COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to contact 811 about being tested.
If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, contact HealthLine 811 or your family physician for advice on whether you should be tested for COVID-19. You can also take the online self-assessment at www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.
Victoria Day Long Weekend
There are many ways to mark the official opening of Saskatchewan’s summer season, while following public health orders.
Plan activities with families or individuals in your extended household group. Visit greenspaces in and around your community. Boat launches may now be open and with camping season set to start in June, you can start planning for a safe summer season.
Whatever your May long weekend plans, remember that public health orders remain in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19, even as case numbers remain low in the southern half of the province.
Continue to practice preventative measures:
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Practice physical distancing of two metres.
• Limit contacts outside your home to the same one or two families or friends in your extended household group.
• Gatherings of 10 or more people are not permitted, even if physical distancing is used.
• Playgrounds and outdoor equipment should continue to be avoided.
Residents with cabins in the southern half of the province may visit their properties, but should stay on their own property and limit visits to local stores to only essential trips. With non-essential travel restricted in the Northern Saskatchewan Administrative District at this time, residents with cabins in the north cannot visit their properties until those travel restrictions are lifted.
General public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.
Find the most up-to-date version of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan at www.saskatchewan.ca/re-open.