REGINA -- Risk of COVID-19 transmission has increased in the south west and west central regions of the province, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

In a release, the SHA said it has identified additional people with COVID-19 in these areas, as a result of aggressive contact tracing.

While some of those who tested positive are linked to known trains of transmission, others have no known source of infection.

The SHA said this increased level of COVID-19 activity has increased risk of transmission to the public in these parts of Saskatchewan.

The following rural municipalities and areas have increased risk of transmission for the virus:

  • Maple Creek (No. 111)
  • Auvergne (No. 76)
  • Biggar (No. 347)
  • City of Swift Current
  • Eagle Creek (No. 376)
  • Grandview (No. 349)
  • Harris (No. 316)
  • Kellross (No. 247)
  • Lac Pelletier (No. 107)
  • Newcombe (No. 260)
  • Perdue (No. 346)
  • Pleasant Valley (No. 288)
  • Prairiedale (No. 321)
  • Tramping Lake (No. 380)

Cases are rising on numerous Hutterite communities in these municipalities. However, there are several other unrelated case increases in these municipalities.

The SHA is working with the Hutterite Safety Council, local Hutterite leadership, local municipalities and the business community to ensure COVID-19 mitigating measures are being taken.

Results from an additional 91 COVID-19 tests from residents in these areas are expected Thursday. More than 160 people are currently undergoing testing in south west and west central Saskatchewan.

The SHA said an increase in cases is expected in the coming days.

On Tuesday, the SHA announced nine businesses in Swift Current had possibly been exposed to COVID-19, after multiple people tested positive for the virus.

Anyone that develops symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, headaches, aches and pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose or a loss of sense of taste or smell are being asked to protect themselves and others by staying home, self-isolating and getting tested for the virus.

Saskatchewan residents are also being reminded to continue to follow public health orders by physical distancing, implementing proper hand hygiene and limiting the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings.

COVID-19 testing is now available to anyone who requests it. A referral for testing can be made by calling 811.