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Sask. has 6 new COVID-19 cases, provincial total at 72
REGINA -- Saskatchewan has six new confirmed cases of COVID-19, which brings the province's total to 72.
Four of those cases are the result of suspected community transmission, health officials said on Tuesday.
All of the cases are confirmed.
Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said on Tuesday that four cases don't have a clear exposure history, including one case in Regina, two in Saskatoon and one in central Saskatchewan. Shahab said Saskatchewan is increasing testing for people who haven't travelled out of the province, which can be handled by labs.
Of the 72 cases, 60 per cent are male and 40 per cent are female. Two cases are under the age of 19, 59 cases are between 20 and 64 years old, and 11 are older than 65.
To date, Regina's Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory has performed 5,757 COVID-19 tests.
Shahab said the province expected most travel-related cases to fall into the 20 to 64 demographic. Now that snowbirds are returning home, he expects more cases in the 65 and older range.
Health Minister Jim Reiter said modelling from the Saskatchewan Health Authority showed the pandemic could "overwhelm" the healthcare system.
He stressed the importance of physical distancing and self-isolation to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.
SHA CEO Scot Livingstone said the model outlines a "worst-case scenario" of the novel coronavirus.
"The reality is the only way we can avoid the worst-case scenario is with the help of the public," Livingstone said. "There is not a health system in the world that can flatten the curve of COVID-19 without the help of the general public."
The model in the document says 30 per cent of people in Saskatchewan could be infected with COVID-19, and that 15 per cent of those infected could need hospitalization.
New models are expected in the coming days, Livingstone said. He added the models help the health authority plan for what's to come and has no problem releasing them to the public.
There are currently no field hospitals in Saskatchewan, but the province says it would open them in community buildings if needed. The first phase of acute care response includes increasing the capacity inside existing facilities, including protecting hospital's current capacities and growing those capacities as needed.