The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority have declared an outbreak of COVID-19 in Beauval, Sask., following an increasing number of cases.
Someone at the Beauval General Store had tested positive for the coronavirus on April 28. Anyone who shopped or bought gas there between April 12 and 27 is being asked to self-monitor daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
A contact tracing investigation is currently underway.
The outbreak — the province’s fourth — was declared as Saskatchewan reported 26 new coronavirus cases in Saskatchewan on Friday, bringing the overall total to 415.
It’s the largest one-day jump in cases in Saskatchewan since 30 new cases were reported on March 27.
“This is a fast-developing situation which we’ve just been alerted to and is continuing to evolve,” said SHA CEO Scott Livingstone during Friday afternoon’s press conference.
There are other outbreaks in La Loche, Lloydminster and the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert. The first outbreak was announced on April 17 in La Loche with all other outbreaks announced this week.
Despite the increase in cases and outbreaks in several areas of the province, Dr. Saqib Shahab said Phase 1 of the Reopen Saskatchewan plan will go ahead on May 4 except in Lloydminster and La Loche.
“We are able to proceed with reopening because things remain quite flat in terms of the curve in most of Saskatchewan,” said the province’s chief medical health officer.
“But, I think we need to obviously pause that in settings where there are outbreaks.”
Shahab said it would be irresponsible not to go ahead with a phased reopening.
With files from David Giles.
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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