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7 new coronavirus cases, 12 recoveries reported in Saskatchewan

WATCH: The Saskatchewan government updates the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the province.

The number of cases of the novel coronavirus in Saskatchewan rose slightly in the last 24 hours while the number of active cases took a slight drop.

Health officials reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 278 since the first presumptive case was reported on March 11.

READ MORE: 3,075 coronavirus deaths forecast for Saskatchewan in low-range scenario, SHA says

Active cases continued to decline, dropping from 165 on Wednesday to 160. These represent the total number of cases less recoveries and deaths.

The province reported 12 more recoveries on Thursday, bringing the total to 115.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: 7 new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan' Coronavirus outbreak: 7 new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan
Coronavirus outbreak: 7 new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan – Apr 9, 2020

Three COVID-19-related deaths have been reported to date.

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Eight people are in hospital — six in Saskatoon, one of whom is in intensive care, and two in Regina, one in ICU.

READ MORE: Nearly 21K jobs lost in Saskatchewan in March due to COVID-19

To date, 16,672 tests have been performed in Saskatchewan, which officials say is the second-highest per capita testing rate among the provinces.

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Officials said 1,051 tests were performed in the past day, the highest number in a single day.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said on Wednesday that he wanted daily testing numbers to reach this level as soon as possible.

“We will continue to ramp up testing and contact tracing with a target of processing 1,500 tests per day by the end of this month,” Moe said during Thursday’s briefing.

“High levels of testing and contact tracing are keys to reducing the spread both now and in the weeks ahead when we being to lift restrictions and re-open businesses and services in communities across Saskatchewan.”

Nearly half of all cases — 138 — are in the Saskatoon region, with 58 in the Regina region and 52 in the north.

Officials reported 15 cases in the south region, 10 in the central region and five in the far north.

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Travel-related cases number 112, with 96 cases either community contacts or linked to mass gatherings. Another 20 cases are due to unknown exposure and 40 remain under investigation by public health.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan premier encourages faith communities to continue to practice social distancing' Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan premier encourages faith communities to continue to practice social distancing
Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan premier encourages faith communities to continue to practice social distancing – Apr 9, 2020

Moe said no one can let down their guard as the province heads into Easter, Passover and Ramadan.

“I would encourage all of those celebrating this weekend to do so responsibly,” Moe said.

“Don’t gather with those outside of your household, don’t go shopping unnecessarily, and I know this can be difficult but these measures, they save lives.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan earmarks $50 million in aid to small, medium businesses during coronavirus pandemic

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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 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.

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