Saskatchewan reported two deaths and four new coronavirus cases on Monday.
Both deaths were people from the far north — one person was in their 60s and the other person was in their 70s.
Thirteen people have now died in Saskatchewan due to COVID-19.
Three of the new cases reported Monday were in Saskatoon while the fourth was in the far north, raising the overall total in the province to 654.
Health officials said there are currently 17 active cases, with one person in intensive care in Saskatoon.
Six of the active cases are in the far north and five are in Saskatoon. Other regions with active cases include Regina (four), the north (one) and the south (one).
Officials said people on two recent domestic flights into Saskatoon may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
The first flight is Air Canada AC 1129 from Toronto on May 29. Public health officials were not able to say which rows are affected.
The other flight was WestJet WS 3370 from Calgary on May 30. Officials say anyone seated in rows six to 12 may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Health officials said those people should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and take any necessary steps to protect their health and those people around them.
One new recovery was reported, bringing the number of total recoveries to 624.
Phase 3 update
The news comes as Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan got underway.
Under Phase 3, mass gatherings can increase in size to 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
Restaurants and bars can open at 50 per cent capacity, and gyms, fitness centres and personal care services that previously could not open can now reopen.
Churches and places of worship can open but are limited to one-third of the defined occupancy of the facility to a maximum of 30 people.
Child care facilities can also reopen with no more than 15 kids in a defined group.
The province also said outdoor playgrounds, beaches and associated washrooms can reopen on June 12.
Measures such as maintaining physical distancing, frequent handwashing and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of rental equipment and washrooms will be in place.
Northern restrictions lifted
Travel restrictions to northwest Saskatchewan were lifted on Monday.
Restrictions were put in place on April 24 for the North Saskatchewan Administration District after an outbreak was declared in La Loche on April 17.
Officials said at the time it was to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Restrictions in the northeast and north-central regions were lifted on May 19.
La Loche also moved to Phase 1 and 2 of the reopening plan on Monday. Those phases were put on pause in the community due to the outbreak. A date to implement Phase 3 in La Loche is yet to be determined, officials said.
Emergency rooms reopening
Eight of the 12 regional emergency rooms that were closed as part of the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) COVID-19 readiness plan will reopen in June.
The first will be in Kerrobert on June 12.
The SHA said the hospitals were converted to alternate level of care sites to build capacity for any potential COVID-19 surge and to protect against outbreaks at medical facilities.
SHA officials said the below dates could be changed due to active COVID-19 cases and the ability to meet safety criteria and staffing for the reopening.
- June 12 – Kerrobert
- June 16 – Leader and Arcola
- June 18 – Preeceville
- June 22 – Biggar and Oxbow
- June 24 – Davidson
- June 25 – Herbert
Dates to reopen emergency rooms in Broadview, Radville, Lanigan and Wolseley have not been announced.
Premier Scott Moe said there are non-COVID-19 staffing issues at those hospitals that need to be resolved before those can reopen.
Saskatchewan coronavirus breakdown
Here is a breakdown of total Saskatchewan cases by age:
- 98 people are 19 and under
- 232 people are 20 to 39
- 199 are 40 to 59
- 107 people are 60 to 79
- 18 people are 80 and over
Males make up 48 per cent of the cases, females 52 per cent.
Officials said 393 cases are linked to community contact or mass gatherings, 144 are travel-related, 79 have no known exposure and 38 are under investigation by public health.
Saskatchewan has completed 52,229 tests so far for the virus.
More to come.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
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.
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