As Saskatchewan’s coronavirus caseload continues to climb, the chief medical health officer says people “really have to be careful” when it comes to gathering and stick to “a small consistent group.”
On Tuesday afternoon at the legislative building, Dr. Saqib Shahab discussed the primary, secondary and tertiary cases that continue to be linked to Saskatoon nightclubs, a religious gathering in Prince Albert, weddings and parties — and now, Thanksgiving dinners.
In some cases, “people, unfortunately, went, while infectious, to not one gathering but several gatherings,” the doctor said while talking about Thanksgiving.
“Small events can lead to significant transmission.”
Saskatchewan has had “notable superspreader events,” said Shahab, who went on to refer to Prince Albert, where the Full Gospel Outreach events occurred between Sept. 14 and Oct. 4.
In early October, the province said 11 cases were connected, that number has grown dramatically, with 60 cases linked directly to the event and 107 cases in contacts of people who attend the event — and also in contacts of those contacts.
“One single transmission event can quickly snowball,” Shahab said.
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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