8th COVID-19 death reported in Saskatchewan, no new coronavirus cases

WATCH: Premier Scott Moe and Health Minister Jim Reiter update the coronavirus situation in Saskatchewan on May 26.

The Saskatchewan government gave an update on new coronavirus cases in the province on Tuesday as well as reported an eighth death.

Health officials said there were zero new cases in the daily update, with the overall total for the province remaining at 634 since the first case was reported in March.

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“People talk about a second wave of COVID-19 and I would say that, in Saskatchewan, we have been fortunate for a number of reasons in that we have not had an infection level that has been comparable to some of the harder-hit areas in Canada and North America and around the world,” Premier Scott Moe said.

“I would place much of that success on what people have done in this province, in their physical distancing and their hand hygiene, and having virtual visits with their family that are in long-term care homes, which I know is very, very difficult.

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“These are the reasons that we are having success in this province and if we continue to do what we have been doing for the next number of months, we will and we have proven that we are able to control the spread of this virus.”

Five people are currently in hospital — two are receiving inpatient care and three in intensive care.

Three more people have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 549.

There are currently 77 active cases in the province, health officials said. Active cases are total cases less recoveries and deaths.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: 1 new death due to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, additional death under investigation' Coronavirus outbreak: 1 new death due to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, additional death under investigation
Coronavirus outbreak: 1 new death due to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, additional death under investigation – May 26, 2020

There have been eight COVID-19-related deaths in Saskatchewan, with the latest being a person in their 50s from the far north region.

“We would only disclose information if it served a public purpose. We need to protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals,” Saskatchewan deputy chief medical officer Denise Werker said.

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“COVID-19 is a respiratory disease is transmitted, as you all know, from droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking or by direct contact. And so providing further detail on the exact geographic location of an individual who died doesn’t protect the health of individuals. Everybody needs to take precautions.”

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The Health Ministry said an additional death is currently under investigation and must be confirmed by the medical health officer before it can be publicly reported.

“The delay is in relation to having that [potential ninth] death… the public health follow-up on the individual, having it put into our information management system and generating that result,” Werker said.
“I’m aware that local public health has entered that death into the information management system, but that data entry was not put in before the numbers were finalized for [Tuesday].”

Family of  Île-à-la-Crosse woman believe she is ninth victim 

The daughter of a 64-year-old woman from the northern village of  Île-à-la-Crosse, located more than 460 kilometres north of Saskatoon, says her mother tested positive for the novel coronavirus on April 30.

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Nelda Maurice was put into a medically-induced coma within a week of the diagnosis, her daughter Lana Maurice told Global News.

Nelda Maurice tested positive for COVID-19 on April 30. Her daughter says she died on Monday.
Nelda Maurice tested positive for COVID-19 on April 30. Her daughter says she died on Monday. Submitted by Lana Maurice

“She was so scared. She was telling me how scared she was. She had hoped too, she thought she would be going home,” Lana Maurice said.

“‘Oh they’re going to put me to sleep and I’ll wake up Friday and I’ll probably be going home Friday.’ But she just never woke up again.”

Maurice died Monday at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, her daughter said.

Lana Maurice said her mother was devoted to her family and her grandchildren were always on her mind.

“She would dance with my sister’s babies. We’d clap and sing for them, speak to them in Cree,” she said. “Just the sound of her voice was so happy and her laugh was so infectious, you couldn’t help but laugh when you were around her.”

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A funeral will be held in Île-à-la-Crosse on Thursday.

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Health officials said 141 cases in the province are travel-related, with 361 due to contacts or mass gatherings. Another 77 have no known exposures and 55 remain under investigation.

Of the 167 total cases reported in the Saskatoon area, six are considered active.

In the Regina area, none of the 76 total cases are considered active, while the north region has 111 total and five active cases.

The south region has 16 total cases and one active case, the central region has 12 total cases and zero active cases, and the far north has 252 total cases and 65 active cases.

To date, 44,580 tests have been carried out in the province.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan expands testing criteria as province reopens' Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan expands testing criteria as province reopens
Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan expands testing criteria as province reopens – May 14, 2020

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

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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. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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

-With files from Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi


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