Sask. reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases, provincial total at 44
REGINA -- Saskatchewan has 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 44 as of Saturday.
The province has now reached 25 confirmed cases and 19 remaining presumptive cases.
All current cases are people 20-years of age and older, with the exception of one, which is still under investigation. Sixty-five per cent of these cases are men, while 35 per cent are women.
While there are currently no confirmed cases of community transmission in Saskatchewan, the province is still investigating three cases.
Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's Chief Medical Health Officer, said it takes around three to five days to investigate where people may have been exposed to the virus.
In the first two to three days of investigation, Shahab said no clear exposure has been identified yet.
"It has not, in two or three days, been easy to establish an exposure. There is no travel, there is no attendance at a mass event where someone was positive, and that is of great concern," said Shahab.
"Sometimes you have to go back to 14 days before symptoms started, trace everything that someone did and go back to all those contacts, that may be in the hundreds, to see if someone is unwell but was never tested. If those dots are not connected in the next two to three days, we will have to confirm that there is community transmission in specific locations in Saskatchewan."
Shahab said they will be able to confirm in the next two to three days if these unknown cases are a result of community transmission.
Of the 44 cases in the province, 11 are connected to a curling bonspiel in Edmonton, attended by 50 to 60 western Canadian healthcare workers.
The Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory (RRPL) in Regina now has the ability to confirm COVID-19 cases through laboratory tests. Tests were previously sent to Winnipeg for confirmation.
The RRPL is processing around 456 COVID-19 tests per day. The lab has processed 3,188 COVID-19 tests since March 14.
Mandatory self-isolation following international travel is now law in Saskatchewan after the announcement of six more COVID-19 cases on Friday.