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Saskatchewan addictions support holds online meetings due to coronavirus

Saskatchewan addictions support holds online meetings due to coronavirus
WATCH: A member of Narcotics Anonymous said the group made the move to practise proper social distancing and limit exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A member of the Central Saskatchewan Area of Narcotics Anonymous said the organization is now holding online meetings to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The member — who Global News has decided not to identify due to the anonymous nature of the organization  — said all in-person meetings were suspended because the government limit on public gatherings of 25 persons (with proper social distancing) would have prevented people from getting the addictions support they need.

On Tuesday the government lowered the number to 10.

READ MORE: Coronavirus and addiction: For people in recovery, self-isolation can be harmful

The member told Global News the CSANA is now hosting meetings through a video chat platform so that people could still attend meetings. They said the meetings are crucial because an addict is in bad company when they’re by themselves.

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They said the in-person gatherings were preferred but the virtual exchanges still provide a sense of support and fellowship.

They even said the online platform has some benefits — that the ability to turn off the camera and use a pseudonym reduced some members’ anxiety to speak.

READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada

They also said the group will continue to find new ways to connect people during the pandemic — including finding a means to easily contact those without internet access.

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They said it’s times like these when people most need connection.

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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