Coronavirus outbreak declared at two Hutterite communities in RM of Maple Creek, Sask.

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Consumer insolvencies are expected to spike in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic despite a reprieve in the number of filings in March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CDC via AP, File. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CDC via AP, File

The Saskatchewan Health Authority declared a coronavirus outbreak at two Hutterite communities in the Rural Municipality of Maple Creek, Sask. on Wednesday.

According to health officials, two members of a rural household in the area initially tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week, with an additional 14 confirmed cases verified on June 17.

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Contact tracing is underway in the targeted areas of the rural municipality.

Cases are being investigated for connection to inter-provincial travel to Alberta as well as travel in the area.

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Those in the area are being asked by health officials to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

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Anyone with symptoms is asked to contact 811 or their community health centre for evaluation.

The new cases will likely be reflected in Thursday’s provincial COVID-19 update, since the outbreak was declared after the province reported just nine new cases on Wednesday afternoon.

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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