As of May 8, Saskatchewan has 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 544.
Twelve of the new cases are in the Far North, all in the La Loche area, while the remaining one is in the North region.
Of the 544 reported cases, 203 are considered active.
Six more people have recovered, bringing the provincial total to 335.
There are currently 19 people in hospital – 15 are receiving inpatient care (six in the North and nine in Saskatoon) and four are in intensive care (three in Saskatoon and one in the North).
Of the 544 cases in the province:
• 138 cases are travellers;
• 260 are community contacts (mass gatherings included);
• 56 have no known exposures; and
• 90 are under investigation by local public health.
Overall in Saskatchewan:
• 44 cases are health care workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to health care in all instances.
• 179 of the cases are from the Far North, 163 are from the Saskatoon area, 100 from the North, 76 from the Regina area, 15 from the South and 11 from the Central region.
• 72 cases involve people 19 years of age and under, while the remainder are adults.
• 192 cases are in the 20-39 age range; 171 are in the 40-59 age range; 93 are in the 60-79 age range; and 16 are in the 80-plus range.
• 50 per cent of the cases are females and 50 per cent are males.
• Six deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported to date.
To date, 35,176 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the province. As of May 6, 2020, when other provincial and national numbers were available from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 27,184 people tested per million population, which exceeds the national rate of 26,665 people tested per million population.
Public Notification of Outbreaks
The declaration of a COVID-19 outbreak is used by Public Health to mobilize and coordinate a response to the infection. It is not necessarily an indicator of risk to the public.
The Public Health definition of an outbreak varies by setting. For example, in long-term care and personal care homes, an outbreak is declared when one person (a resident or health care worker) tests positive for COVID-19.
The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to ensuring there is public notification of COVID-19 outbreaks, as permitted under The Public Health Act, 1994.
We will be publicly posting outbreaks within:
• Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities including hospitals, long-term care homes and integrated facilities, as well as assisted living facilities with a long-term care unit if the cases are associated with the long-term care unit;
• personal care homes and homeless shelters as these include vulnerable populations; and
• all correctional facilities in Saskatchewan
Public advisories will always be issued when there is a risk to the public.
The posting of outbreaks in a workplace, industrial or commercial space will be done on a case-by-case basis, when deemed appropriate and necessary. This approach balances protecting the public and ensuring the privacy of individuals and businesses.
Public notification will also occur in the absence of an outbreak being declared when there is a risk of transmission to the public.
Phase 1 of Re-Open Saskatchewan is Well Underway
The Government of Saskatchewan’s plan to slowly and responsibly lift restrictions on businesses and services as a result of COVID-19 began on May 4.
Restrictions in the province are gradually being lifted in five phases. As Phase 1 of the plan moves into its second week, further information has been added to the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
The changes include:
• Updates to the guidelines for appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – page 17
• Updates to the guidelines for drive-in or remote worship services – page 24
• Guidelines for drive-in theatres – page 25
• Guidelines for public markets and farmers markets – page 32
• Updates to the guidelines for clothing and retail operations for thrift stores and businesses that sell second-hand goods – page 36
• Updates to the golf course guidelines – page 42-43
• Updates to the guidelines about passengers in boats – page 46
With its focus on the gradual lifting of business restrictions, Saskatchewan residents are reminded the plan does not change the need to comply with the current public health order and take the necessary precautionary measures, including:
• Limiting public and private gatherings – inside and outside – to no more than 10 people.
• Maintaining physical distancing by keeping two metres away from others.
• Avoiding unnecessary travel.
• Exercising caution when forming an extended household group and being aware of who you have been in contact with over the past two weeks. If you test positive for COVID-19, these are the people who will need to be contacted by public health.
• Stay home if you’re sick or symptomatic.
The impact of COVID-19 visitor restrictions at long-term care homes, hospitals and personal care homes has limited the ability of families and loved ones to connect during this stressful time.
The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes that people may want to send gifts, particularly in light of Mother’s Day this weekend.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has determined that flowers from a florist and dry paper gifts are not an infection risk. Going forward, purchased floral arrangements and dry paper gifts, such as cards, letters, books, photos and artwork, will be allowed.
Floral arrangements will still not be permitted in some acute care settings, such as intensive care units, due to possible allergies.
Facilities are expected to follow existing processes to receive deliveries in a manner that reduces the risk of potential transmission by minimizing traffic in and out of facilities and practicing appropriate hand hygiene before and after handling delivered gifts.
If you are experiencing even mild 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.
General public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.