Two more COVID deaths in the North, 10 more recoveries

Two Saskatchewan residents from the Far North region who tested positive for COVID-19 have died: one is an individual in their 80s and the other is an individual in their 60s, Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab announced on Wednesday. This brings the total number of deaths in the province to 10, which includes a death that was reported as under investigation on May 26.

There are three new cases of COVID-19 as of May 27, bringing the provincial total to 637. Two of the new cases are in the Regina region and one is in the Far North. Of the 637 reported cases, 68 are considered active.

article continues below

Ten more people have recovered, bringing the provincial total to 559.

Shahab said as Saskatchewan continues to reopen, the public should consider other means of interaction to avoid further outbreaks in the province.

“If you do choose to have any gathering of whatever size, [ask] are people who are attending vulnerable and what can we do to minimize the risk of transmission,” said Shahab during a press conference.

There are currently four people in hospital – one is receiving inpatient care (in Regina) and three are in intensive care (all in Saskatoon).

Shahab said although the public needs to engage in the reopening of the province and re-engage socially, nothing is risk free.

“What this underscores is that we cannot go back to business as usual,” said Shahab.

“Even though summer is beginning, even though we see more traffic on the roads and people outside, we still have to be very cautious. We still need to minimize transmission risk wherever we can,” he added.

Of the 637 cases in the province, 141 cases are travellers; 363 are community contacts (including mass gatherings); 77 have no known exposures; 56 are under investigation by local public health, and 50 cases are health care workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to health care in all instances.

By region, 53 of the cases are from the Far North, 167 are from the Saskatoon area, 111 from the North, 78 from the Regina area, 16 from the South and 12 from the Central region.

Broken down by age category, 93 cases involve people 19 years of age and under; 227 cases are in the 20-39 age range; 195 are in the 40-59 age range; 104 are in the 60-79 age range; and 18 are in the 80-plus range.

About 51 per cent of the cases are females and 49 per cent are males. To date, 45,118 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the province. As of May 25, 2020, when other provincial and national numbers were last available from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 34,492 people tested per million population. The national rate was 39,920 people tested per million population.

Public and Private Gatherings:

After weeks of staying home and with the warmer weather upon us, it can be tempting to host a big family gathering. However, Saskatchewan residents should remember that the public health order limiting both public and private gatherings to no more than 10 people remains in force.

Measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 must continue:

• Continue physical distancing of two metres.

• You can form an extended household group with one or two families or friends. This group must remain consistent. Do not visit different families or friends every day.

• People in the same extended household group without high-risk people can be closer than two metres.

• The limit on gathering sizes still applies to extended household groups. You should always be aware of who you have been in contact with over the past two weeks. If you test positive for COVID-19, these are the people who will need to be contacted by public health.

If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, headaches, aches and pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose or a loss of your sense of taste or smell, contact HealthLine 811 or your family physician for advice on whether you should be tested for COVID-19.  You can also take the online self-assessment at www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.

General public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.