Saskatchewan reported 14 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the province on Friday, bringing the total since the first case was reported to 220.
One case is an employee of Memory Lane care home, a 16-resident assisted living facility in Regina under the Eden Care Communities umbrella, confirmed Eden Care spokesperson Bill Pratt.
The employee who tested positive had contact with three other staff members and one resident, according to Eden Care. All are self-isolating, monitoring and/or being monitored under direction from public health.
“We have activated our response plan and are taking the following measures: all Resident baseline temperatures and vital signs have been recorded; temperatures of Residents will be recorded twice per day,” said Eden Care Communities CEO Alan Stephen.
“We understand how difficult it must be for families to receive this information. It is unfortunate. We have assured them all precautions are being taken to ensure their loved one stays safe.”
Another three staff members took it upon themselves to self-isolate, Eden Care said.
The facility is closed and not accepting new admissions, discharges or transfers.
A new measure was introduced by the Saskatchewan government on Friday for employees at long-term care facilities.
They will have their temperatures checked and will be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms prior to beginning their shifts, officials said.
Officials said three people remain in hospital — one in intensive care in Regina and two in acute care in Saskatoon.
Another 12 people have recovered, bringing the number of recoveries to 48.
The highest number of cases remains in Saskatoon, with 111.
Regina had 45 cases, while 42 cases are reported in the north.
There are 10 cases in the south region, nine in the central region and three in the far north.
Three people have died to date in the province due to complications from COVID-19 — one in Saskatoon, one in the central region and one in the north.
During his briefing, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for asking medical supply firm 3M to stop selling N95 respirators to Canada.
3M said Friday that it has been asked by the Trump administration not to supply N95 respirators to Canada amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Moe said it is a “reckless” decision by Trump and a “betrayal” of the longstanding relationship between the two countries.
“The availability of personal protection equipment is a discussion that is more urgent today after the reckless direction of the Trump administration and the direction they gave for 3M to cease shipping N95 masks to Canada,” Moe said.
“This decision is nothing short of a betrayal of our two great nations’ shared history of working together in time of need.”
Moe said he is in contact with a number of U.S. governors to gain support and have Trump reverse his decision.
“Under the leadership of numerous presidents, the United States has been here to support our country,” Moe said.
“Throughout history, Canada has supported our neighbour to the south through times of war, terror and times of economic crisis.”
“In this time of a pandemic, it is even more important that our nations strengthen our resolve to work together to fight this unseen enemy that we call COVID-19.”
Moe said although the measures the province has taken to reduce the risk and spread of coronavirus appear to be working, now is not the time to be complacent.
“I don’t know if we can avoid the kinds of outbreaks that we are seeing in other places, but we have a chance,” he said.
“We have a chance if we continue to follow the rules, the rules of physical distancing, avoid gatherings with people outside your immediate household, stay home as much as possible.”
Moe reiterated the need to self-isolate for 14 days when returning from international travel and the need for proper hygiene.
“People, they may be getting tired of me saying these things, but I’m going to keep doing it,” Moe said.
“I’d rather people be sick of listening to me than sick with COVID-19.”
Of the 220 cases in the province currently in Saskatchewan, 102 are travellers.
Another 52 are community contacts, including mass gatherings, while 10 have no known exposures.
Officials said 56 remain under investigation by local public health.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqid Shahab are updating the coronavirus situation in the province.
They will be speaking at the daily briefing starting at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Global News will live stream the press conference.
More to come.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers 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. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
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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