The number of presumptive novel coronavirus cases in Saskatchewan has doubled.
Officials said Wednesday there are now two confirmed and 14 presumptive COVID-19 cases in the province. There were two confirmed and six presumptive cases on Tuesday,
Both confirmed cases are in Saskatoon.
Saskatoon also has three presumptive cases, according to the government’s official coronavirus website.
Eight presumptive cases are in Regina, one in the south and two in the north. There are no reported cases in the central region at this time.
Officials said one person with a presumptive case is in hospital for medical reasons not related to COVID-19.
The other 15 are well enough to self-isolate at home, officials added.
While most of the cases are linked to travel, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer said one might be linked to local transmission.
“We have an instance where the contact investigation has not yet demonstrated a link to travel, which could signal local transmission,” Dr. Saqib Shahab said in a statement.
“This is a critical time for all individuals and organizations to ensure that they are practicing social distancing, staying home whenever possible and absolutely staying home when you are ill, even with mild symptoms.”
Two of the most recent cases involved Sunwing flights from Mexico.
An individual was tested in Regina after flying from Cancun on March 14 on Sunwing flight WG540.
The other person also flew into Regina on March 14 from Cabo San Lucas on Sunwing flight WG496.
Sunwing confirmed to Global News that flight WG496 continued on to Saskatoon after landing in Regina.
“As per advice from provincial health officials, we urge all passengers who travelled on WG540 and WG496 to self-isolate and actively monitor for symptoms,” a Sunwing spokesperson said.
“We can also confirm that Sunwing has been in contact or is in the process of making contact with all crew who worked on the affected flights and we are instructing them to self-isolate.”
All people on those flights are being urged by public health officials to self-isolate for 14 days and actively monitor for symptoms.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
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. And if you get sick, stay at home.
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