'Please wear a mask': Yorkton officials emphasize health protocols as COVID-19 cases rise
YORKTON -- Yorkton’s Mayor is urging residents to listen to the advice of medical experts, with COVID-19 cases rising in the area.
Mayor Bob Maloney spoke to residents virtually from City Hall about the developing COVID-19 situation within the Yorkton area. He said while he understands some may have differing opinions on what is right for them, he's urging them to look to the professionals.
"Medical experts, the people in charge, are saying masks work that’s all I need to know and so in public places we don't have a mandatory mask mandate but I am urging people when you go out to public places please wear a mask," Maloney said.
The announcement comes as the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) announces five new cases in the region.
Both the Yorkton Regional Health Centre and the Yorkton and District Long Term Care Home have been closed to the public to try to protect residents and staff.
"Whenever there’s an active public health investigation it generates contacts which in this case is more than 100 contacts and through follow up testing we expect to see more cases as part of the active case finding,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer.
On Wednesday, staff at Christ the Teacher Catholic School Division were told someone at St. Alphonsus Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19
In a statement to CTV News, the division said it has communicated with the classroom or cohort that was affected by the case, as well as the school community.
“The Saskatchewan Health Authority has completed their assessment of the situation, and all individuals deemed to be close contacts have been communicated with. We want to reassure families at this time that classes at St. Alphonsus Elementary School will continue as normal, while maintaining the safety protocols in place,” the statement said.
The SHA says some schools will require different guidelines as they continue to navigate outbreaks.
"There will be situations where the whole class goes online, and really there will be situations where the whole school stays home for a period of two weeks and this will continue to happen and we will continue to monitor and update guidance as required," Dr. Shahab said.
Officials at the school division said they will continue to promote proper hand washing, physical distancing and making sure both students and teachers are staying home if they're feeling sick. They are hoping through these measures they'll be able to limit the spread.