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7 new coronavirus cases reported in Saskatchewan, total rises to 260

The story of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan by the numbers
WATCH: Saskatchewan continues to see new cases of COVID-19. But as Roberta Bell reports by the numbers, the epidemiology of the disease is evolving in the province.

Saskatchewan health authorities reported seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on Tuesday.

It brings the total number of cases in the province to 260 since the first presumptive case was reported on March 11.

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Officials reported seven more people have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 88.

There are currently 169 active cases in the province.

Seven people are being treated in hospital. Two are in intensive care — one in Regina and one in Saskatoon — and five are receiving inpatient care — four in Saskatoon and one in Regina.

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Just over half of all reported cases — 161 — are in the Saskatoon region, with 52 in the Regina area and 48 in the north.

There are 15 cases in the south, 10 in the central region and four in the far north.

Twenty-five of the total patients are health-care workers.

Officials said 115 cases involve travellers, 80 are community contacts — including mass gathers — and 13 have no known exposure. Public health officials continue to investigate the cause of transmission in 52 cases.

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Tests have been carried out on 14,203 people to date, with 14,722 total tests performed. Officials said the discrepancy in the numbers can be due to multiple tests being carried out on one person.

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Provincial overview

Of the 131 total cases in Saskatoon, 100 are active. Five people are in hospital — one in intensive care and four receiving inpatient care. One death has been reported along with 30 recoveries.

In Regina, half of the 52 confirmed cases — 26 — are active. Two people are in hospital — one in intensive care and one receiving inpatient care. The other 26 cases are classified as recovered.

There have been 48 confirmed cases in the north, of which 22 are active. Health authorities said on April 1 that 24 cases in the region were traced to a Christopher Lake snowmobile rally dinner on March 14.

“This really demonstrates why we have been reducing the size of gathering in Saskatchewan and why we really emphasize that while we love celebrating and getting together in Saskatchewan, this is not the time,” Dr. Saqid Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, said on March 28.

“This is the time for social distancing, this is the time to remain connected through other means.”

One death and 25 recoveries have been reported in the north.

In the south, 11 of the 15 cases are active, with four recoveries.

Of the 10 cases in the central region, there is one death and one recovery, leaving eight active cases.

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Two of the four cases in the far north are active, with two recoveries.

Testing

The majority of total testing — 6,184 and 2,050 — have been carried out in Saskatoon and the north region, respectively.

“Testing rates and cases are higher in Saskatoon area and the north and that is primarily because of… exposure to a mass event,” Shahab said on April 6.

“In the Saskatoon area, it’s a combination of more people who had travelled and more people who are either contacts of a mass event or other factors… it’s due to a combination of mass events in Saskatoon and the north and more people returning from travel to Saskatoon area.”

Just over 3,800 tests have been carried out in Regina, 1,385 in the south, 900 in the central region and 269 in the far north.

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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.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.