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Saskatchewan reports 34 active COVID-19 cases in children, youth during 3rd week of school

Click to play video 'Sask. reports 34 active COVID-19 cases in children, youth during 3rd week of school' Sask. reports 34 active COVID-19 cases in children, youth during 3rd week of school
WATCH: Following an outbreak in a Yorkton high school, the province has released its latest numbers on how COVID-19 is affecting school-aged people in Saskatchewan – Oct 2, 2020

Active coronavirus cases in children and youth continue to rise following their return to the classrooms.

According to the Ministry of Health, there were 34 active cases of COVID-19 in children and youth across the province for the week dating Sept. 21 – 27.

Read more: Questions linger one month into Saskatchewan’s back-to-school plan

This is an increase from the 24 active cases reported in the same age group during the second week of school, and the 14 active cases reported in the first week back to the class.

“We always expected we would see the occasional case in the school which we have seen,” Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said Thursday during the provincial update.

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Of the active cases in youth and children, 22 are in the Saskatoon zone, five are in central Saskatchewan, three are in Regina, two are in southern Saskatchewan and one is in the north.

According to Shahab, 14 schools across Saskatchewan have had cases of COVID-19 since its doors reopened.

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This includes the Yorkton Regional High School where an outbreak was declared after a cluster of students tested positive for the virus. All classes have since moved online for two weeks.

Aside from the Yorkton high school, Shahab says the province hasn’t seen clusters in any other schools.

“There has been nothing unexpected,” Shahab said. “Things are working quite well but it’s important we stay the course.”

Read more: Saskatchewan school divisions mandate masks, but parents say more needs to be done

Shahab says parents should get used to “constantly adjusting” to schools’ plans, especially during the fall and winter months when cases are expected to rise as more people move indoors.

“Sometimes a whole class will need to go online. Maybe there will be situations where the whole school goes online for two weeks,” Shahab said.

“This will continue to happen, we’ll continue to monitor, and update the (Safe School Plans) guidelines as needed.”

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The province will provide an update of its active cases in youth and children every Thursday. The report can be found here.

In-school testing

No students tested positive for COVID-19 following a voluntary testing blitz at three Saskatchewan high schools, says the Ministry of Health.

During the week of Sept. 14, asymptomatic testing was made available at Regina’s Campbell Collegiate, Saskatoon’s Holy Cross High School and the Carlton Comprehensive High School in Prince Albert.

Read more: Over 800 COVID-19 tests conducted in Saskatchewan schools last week: SHA

“There were 987 tests completed and the positivity rate was zero per cent,” said the Ministry of Health in a press release.

All students and staff are asked to stay home if they are experiencing minor symptoms.

“Preventing in-school transmission begins with preventing community transmission,” the Ministry of Health said.

Click to play video 'Group testing key to early coronavirus detection in Sask. schools, biochemist says' Group testing key to early coronavirus detection in Sask. schools, biochemist says
Group testing key to early coronavirus detection in Sask. schools, biochemist says – Aug 11, 2020