'A few weeks behind': Sask. COVID-19 cases following same trend as Manitoba
REGINA -- With the province experiencing a sharp increase in cases, Saskatchewan looks to be trending in the same direction as its eastern neighbour, according to an epidemiology professor.
"There are things that can be done to try and get this under control if we move faster on it," Dr. Cory Neudorf, an epidemiology and public health professor with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine, told CTV News.
Dr. Neudorf said Saskatchewan is following a similar trend to Manitoba, where the provincial government imposed a province-wide lockdown starting on Thursday.
"We’re moving in that same general direction, it just seems like we’re a few weeks behind," he said.
Two weeks ago, Manitoba's seven-day average for new cases was 160. Saskatchewan sits at 131 after announcing 112 new cases on Wednesday.
Early in the pandemic, Saskatchewan saw high case numbers in isolated areas of the province, but the current transmission is more widespread with active cases in every region.
Dr. Neudorf said we need to act now while we still have time to bend the curve down.
"This isn’t something that we’re just seeing in one part of the province, it’s certainly concerning everywhere in the province," he said.
"Curtailing our behaviour, really thinking about is that going out or that activity or that getting together with people absolutely necessary or is this something I can forgo for a while so that we can get this under control," he said.
Dr. Neudorf agrees with the Chief Medical Health Officer’s statement last week that Saskatchewan is experiencing its first true wave of the virus and said the next few weeks will be key in our province’s fight.
"Every day that you see cases increasing and that curve keeps bending upward means that we’re at least four days to a week from any meaningful bend [in the other direction]," he said.
"Action now is better than action a few days from now."
Finding a way to quickly flatten the curve was also the message coming from the Prime Minister this week.
"I urge the premiers and the mayors to please do the right thing, act now to protect public health," Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
Saskatchewan’s curve continues to trend up.
The province recorded its fifth straight day of over 100 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Active cases reached a new record high for the sixth straight day at 1,363.
Hospitalizations continue to rise, with a record 48 people now receiving treatment for the virus, including 11 in intensive care.