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Sask. reporting 14 new COVID-19 cases, 3 in hospital
REGINA -- Saskatchewan has another 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the province’s total to 220 cases on Friday.
There are currently three people in hospital, two in acute care in Saskatoon and one in the ICU in Regina. The province also says 12 more people have recovered, for a total of 48 recoveries in Saskatchewan.“Whatever we’re doing here in Saskatchewan, it seems to be working,” Premier Scott Moe said at the province’s daily update.
Moe also spoke about U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Friday morning requesting manufacturing giant 3M stop exporting N95 masks to Canada. The premier said he’s concerned about the request, since the U.S. and Canada have always worked together in times of crisis in the past.
“In this time of a pandemic, it’s more important that our nations work together to fight this unseen enemy we call COVID-19,” Moe said. “As the residents of our countries self-isolate, our nations must not.”
Public health directives working, Moe says
After a weekend spike in cases, numbers increased by smaller margins later in the week. Moe says the cases show that Saskatchewan residents are working together to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I don’t know if we can avoid the outbreaks we’re seeing in other places, but we have a chance,” he said. “Let’s continue pulling together by staying apart.”
The province sent out another emergency alert on Friday afternoon, reminding residents about the public health orders currently in effect.
However, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer said there is some concern because fewer cases are linked to travel.
Worker tests positive at Eden Care facility in Regina
An employee at a Regina Eden Care assisted living facility has tested positive for COVID-19, the province said. There isn’t any evidence that it’s spread to other employees or residents.
All employees working in long-term care homes will have their temperatures checked daily. They will also be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their shifts.
Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said there are three types of care homes in Saskatchewan. Personal care homes are typically privately owned and offer hands-on care. Nursing homes are operated by the Saskatchewan Health Authority and provide care beyond what is offered at personal care homes. Assisted living facilities are for people still living independently, and may offer some care, meals and other services.
“It reminds us of our essential duty to protect those who have to work in essential services,” Shahab said of the COVID-19 case at the home.
“We remain extremely concerned about COVID-19 getting into any of our care facilities,” Moe said.
Province continues to recommend physical distancing over masks
Shahab said Friday that most people don’t need to wear masks in their day-to-day life.
“What we’re doing right now protects us from each other,” he said.
By practicing proper physical distancing, washing hands regularly and not gathering in large groups, Shahab says Saskatchewan residents don’t need to use masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
“You shouldn’t start crowding together if you’re wearing a mask,” he said.
He added that masks and other supplies need to be saved for frontline workers.
No shortage of supplies, SHA says
Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone reiterated on Friday that there isn’t currently a shortage of PPE for healthcare workers.
“The safety of our staff and our patients is our top priority,” he said.
Some unions have raised concerns about supplies and Livingstone says the SHA shares those concerns. The health authority is closely monitoring orders and supplies as the pandemic progresses in the province.
Health officials say 102 cases are related to travel, 52 are community contacts, 10 have no known exposure and 56 are under investigation by public health officers.
206 COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan
Four tests done out of province have been added to Saskatchewan’s total due to an “administrative adjustment,” the province said in a news release.
Of the 220 cases, three are in the far north, 42 are in the north, nine are in the central region, 111 are in Saskatoon, 10 are in the south and 45 are in Regina.
The cases are 55 per cent male and 45 per cent female. Six cases are in people under 19 years old, 100 people are between 20 and 44, 79 are between 45 and 64, and 35 people are older than 65.
There have been 12,112 COVID-19 tests performed in the province so far. Saskatchewan has performed the second-most tests per capita, behind Alberta.
The provincial government is also working with the Ministry of Health to provide temporary licences to retired healthcare workers during the pandemic. The province says it will cover the costs of the licences.