These Sask. areas are at a higher risk of COVID-19 VoC transmission due to large outdoor gatherings
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Health Authority is warning the public of an increased risk of COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC) in many southwest Saskatchewan communities. So far, 21 cases have been linked to several large outdoor gatherings.
Residents in the areas of Rosetown, Kindersley, Maple Creek, Swift Current, Davidson and Moose Jaw are “strongly urged to strictly adhere to all current public health order and measures.”
The health authority said the warning follows outdoor gatherings in the area, which failed to comply with public health measures. Health Minister Paul Merriman said he would not be able to provide any details related to these events as a public health investigation is taking place.
“A Saskatchewan Health Authority Medical Health Officer declared an outbreak regarding an outdoor gathering in southwest Saskatchewan,” Doug Dahl, who works in community engagement and communications for the SHA said. “A contact tracing investigation is underway. As of today, 21 positive cases have been linked to this outbreak, which includes variants of concern. Additional testing is required to identify the specific variant involved.
VoC are highly contagious and quickly transmitted within communities. VoC also result in more severe illnesses and should be considered dangerous, the SHA said.
The SHA said those becoming severely ill have been younger where VoC are concerned.
INCREASED EXPOSURE IN SASKATOON
Residents in the Saskatoon area are being asked to avoid unnecessary travel in the wake of surging COVID-19 variant case numbers.
As of Tuesday, there was a total of 302 reported variant cases in the Saskatoon area according to the province.
The rise represents a significant jump from just a day prior. There were 181 reported cases in the Saskatoon area on Monday.
"We are very concerned that Saskatoon (variant) case numbers are trending up," Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said during a news conference in Regina on Tuesday.