For the 12th day in a row, the Saskatchewan government has reported single-digit or no increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the province.
Health officials said there were two new cases in the daily update on Friday, with the overall total for the province growing to 1,611 since the first case was reported in March. According to a press release, the new cases are in the far northwest and Saskatoon zones.
“The most important thing for us actually to watch is where have we been the last two weeks because that tells us what do we have to do for the next two weeks and we have to live in this two-week cycle because it’s in all of our hands to change the curve, to flatten the curve,” Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.
“We went really flat towards May, June and as we reopen, we did expect to see a bit of an increase, which we did see, and four to six weeks ago, we were seeing higher case numbers more because of specific outbreaks … but again, it has come down.
“I think I would attribute to the good practices of every Saskatchewan resident … it speaks to how all of us have been very diligent. And as we move indoors in the fall and more activity happens indoors, I think it’s even more important to continue to enjoy the things we enjoy but do it in a way that we’re following the guidelines and keeping ourselves and others safe.”
- How to know if you have salmonella as death toll rises from cantaloupe outbreak
- Ontario stay-at-home dad overwhelmed by ‘compassionate’ response to financial struggles
- After Medicago shutdown, Canada recovers $40M and research on COVID-19 vaccine
- Record gold prices could hit the value of your portfolio — and your jewelry box
There are currently 44 active cases in the entire province, health officials said. Active cases are total cases minus recoveries and deaths. Government officials said investigations completed thus far have found that 20 of the current active cases are in “communal living settings.”
During a press conference on Friday, Shahab said Saskatchewan currently has the lowest active case rate in Western Canada at five active cases per 100,000 people.
“The current Canadian rate is 13 active cases per 100,000. So, again, we need to congratulate all of us in continuing to do the things that have kept our transmission rate extremely low,” he said.
“It did go up a bit towards July and August, but it has again come down to really low levels and that is really important as we enter the fall and as we start more indoor activities.
“We actually now have less than five cases who have an unknown source of exposure and that’s really important. That right now we are in a position that we don’t have unexplained community transmission and this is so important to keep it that way because this will then have a positive impact on school reopening and more and more people going back to work.”
All three current hospitalizations in the province are in Saskatoon — one is receiving inpatient care and two are in intensive care.
Sixteen more people have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 1,543.
There have been 24 COVID-19-related deaths in Saskatchewan.
According to a press release, 1,561 COVID-19 tests were performed in Saskatchewan on Thursday. To date, over 136,330 tests have been carried out in the province.
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.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.