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Saskatchewan coronavirus case updates to resume on weekends after spike, concerns

Saskatchewan health authorities say there are five new coronavirus cases in the province, with 76 active cases and 785 total recoveries. Don Mitchell / Global News

The Saskatchewan government update on new coronavirus cases in the province on Tuesday included five new cases, with the overall total for the province rising to 876 since the first case was reported in March.

Three of the new cases are in the central region with the rest in the Saskatoon and Regina regions, according to a press release.

Read more: 5 flights from or to Regina, Saskatoon carried passengers with coronavirus

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke at a press conference about why the Ministry of Health had stopped posting COVID-19 updates on weekends at the beginning of July.

“We moved to a system here in Saskatchewan of not reporting new case numbers on the weekends. We did so because our cases had been pretty stable for a number of days and weeks at that point and because we wanted to give some of our health staff who’ve been very working very hard, a little bit of a breather,” he said on Tuesday.

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Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili was critical of the lack of communication about the spike when Monday’s summary relieved 56 cases over three days.

“We were fine the weekend before where we had lower case numbers and did not report. But this past weekend, we did have some higher case numbers and it did create some concern,” Moe said on Tuesday.

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“For that reason and because we want to be as forthcoming with information as possible… we will be going back to daily reporting of the case numbers, seven days a week, including on the weekends.”

As of Tuesday in the province, six people are currently in hospital — four are receiving inpatient care in Saskatoon. Two others are in intensive care in Saskatoon and the south region.

Nineteen more people have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 785.

There are currently 76 active cases in the province, health officials said. Active cases are total cases less recoveries and deaths.

Read more: Saskatchewan teachers lack confidence in province’s plan to head back to school

There have been 15 COVID-19-related deaths in Saskatchewan.

The government said universal COVID-19 testing started in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. Anyone who requests one, regardless of symptoms, can now get a referral by contacting HealthLine 811.

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To date, nearly 75,775 tests have been carried out in the province.

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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. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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