The number of new COVID-19 cases, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has edged up in Saskatchewan.
The province reported 14 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 86 since the first presumptive case was reported on March 12.
Four people have now been hospitalized, with two in ICU. Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, did not say where they are located.
He did say some of the cases involve underlying medical conditions.
Two of the newest cases involve patients 19 years of age and under, bringing the total in that age group to four.
The highest numbers continue to be in Saskatoon, with 41 reported cases.
Regina has 27 confirmed cases.
Officials said four of the cases are the result of local transmission, with the remaining cases travel related.
There are three cases in the north, eight in the central region and seven in the south.
Shahab said information for flights arriving in the province that have confirmed cases of COVID-19 are now being posted on the government’s website.
The list includes the flight number, origin, date and the affected rows.
Shahab asked anyone in the affected seats to self-isolate and self-monitor for 14 days after the flight.
“Previously, we would contact people sitting in the seven rows where they could be at high risk,” he said.
“Now, of course, it doesn’t matter… anyone who takes a flight in Canada now, for the next two weeks they should go to the Ministry of Health website and check if the flight they took is on that list.”
Other passengers on the listed flights should self-monitor for symptoms, Shahab said.
Shahab said passengers should contact Public Health if they believe they were on a flight with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
“There is a 36- to 48-hour lag because the investigation is done,” he said.
“The other thing is that if you were asymptomatic during travel and you got symptoms two, three, four days after arrival, then there is no need to post the airline, it’s only done if you were symptomatic during your trip.”
Premier Scott Moe said if passengers have information that is not showing up on the flight list, there are ways it can be reported.
“If people have information just like this that maybe hasn’t made it through the process to go up on the website for all to see, I would just ask them that they call the public safety agency, which is the agency that will encompass any of the other information that we need to gather, or provide any of the answers that people might need,” Moe said.
“If you feel that you’ve been on a… flight that has not yet been put up as being one of the flights with a positive ID individual on it, please call 1-855-559-5502 and let them know and we’ll endeavour to provide that information as soon as possible.”
There have still been no confirmed cases at any long-term care facilities in the province, and Shahab said visiting restrictions are one of the keys for preventing the spread to these facilities.
“We continue to test at long-term care facilities. We have so far had no outbreak,” he said.
“It remains essential in being thoughtful about visiting a loved one in a long-term care facility,” Shahab said, adding many facilities now have visitor restrictions in place.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers across Canada are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. In Saskatchewan, international travellers are already required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province.
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.
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