Coronavirus: Saskatchewan reports 6 new cases, sets guidelines for drive-in, remote worship services

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan reports 6 new cases, sets guidelines for drive-in, remote worship services
WATCH: Saskatchewan reported six new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. As Connor O’Donovan explains, some are connected to the outbreak in a long-term care facility in La Loche.

Saskatchewan reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon, three of which are confirmed cases with the other three being presumptive cases.

Total cases in the province have risen to 313 while active cases remain at 75.

Six more people have recovered from the virus, bringing the provincial total to 234.

Five people remain in the hospital, including four who are receiving inpatient care and one person in the ICU.

READ MORE: New COVID-19 cases in northern Saskatchewan sparks travel, health advisory

The number of infected health-care workers continues to rise, with 35 cases reported on Saturday, an increase from 34 the day before.

Health-care workers make up about 11 per cent of all cases in the province. Health officials have previously stated they are getting the virus through community transmission or at work.

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Of the 313 cases, 134 are travel-related while 132 cases are linked to mass gatherings or community contacts. There are 29 cases with no known exposure, while 18 cases remain under investigation.

Saskatoon remains the province’s epicentre for the virus with 148 cases reported in the city. There are 70 cases in Regina, 59 from the north, 15 from the south, 11 from the central region of the province and 10 in the far north.

There are 23 cases involving people under the age of 19 while the remainder of cases are adults.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Métis Nation-Saskatchewan declares a state of emergency

Deaths related to COVID-19 in the province remains a four.

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To date, there have been 23,092 COVID-19 tests performed in the province.

The province’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, was not available for comment Saturday.

Saskatchewan updates guidance for drive-in or remote worship services

Following last week’s controversy surrounding an Easter drive-in service being cancelled, the province has issued a guideline for places of worship to engage with its congregants.

Services can be delivered online as long as no more than 10 people are inside that place of worship at one time and they are strictly observing all social distancing protocols.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Cancellation of Saskatchewan drive-in church service questioned

Drive-in services can take place if individuals remain in their vehicles with no contact between the worshippers, and only individuals from the same household are occupying the same vehicle.

Drive-in services will have to designate specific parking lots or staging areas and must meet the following conditions:

  • Organizers must have measures to prevent people from leaving their vehicles at the service
  • Vehicles must be separated by two metres
  • Access to facilities like washrooms is discouraged. If there is washroom access, provisions must be made to ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Appropriate social distancing practices between persons who need to leave the vehicle to access washroom facilities is maintained at all times
  • No food or beverage service allowed
  • All other services must be suspended including picnic areas and play areas
  • Anyone who is unwell or symptomatic must remain home
  • Event organizers are required to provide proposals and field questions to local public health officials to ensure the venue does not risk transmission of COVID-19
Group alleges church service cancellation violated charter rights
Group alleges church service cancellation violated charter rights

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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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.