COVID-19: 3 more deaths reported Thursday

Province also announces 72 cases, including four staff members, in Saskatoon jail

No new deaths have been reported.

Three more Saskatchewan residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have died.

One resident who died was from the Saskatoon zone and in their 70s. The other two were residents in their 80s from the north west zone. One of those deaths is likely that of Fred Sasakamoose. The trailblazing First Nations hockey player, one of the first Indigenous people to play in the NHL, died two days ago, his family said. His death wasn’t included in Wednesday’s update, likely because it occurred after the province’s reporting cutoff. Sasakamoose died at about 3 p.m. after a five-day fight with the novel coronavirus. His son Neil broke the news over Facebook.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) put out a press release Thursday mourning the loss of Sasakamoose.

“Fred Sasakamoose was an exceptional athlete, mentor and hero to many,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said.

“His inspiring words about sports were often transferable to important life teaching. His legacy has opened the door to many First Nations hockey players that followed and continue to follow in his footsteps. He will be dearly missed.”

Thursday’s update also included 299 new positive cases of COVID-19. Of those, 72 are from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre — 68 offenders and four staff. There are a total of 85 active cases among offenders and staff at the jail.

According to a press release, corrections officials are working with public health on measures to reduce the spread within the facility, including ongoing testing, a 14-day quarantine for new admissions and continuous masking for offenders. Mask use will be mandatory for offenders in all provincial correctional facilities, not just Saskatoon.

As of Thursday, there will be no new admissions to the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. Remanded and sentenced offenders will be sent to Regina and Prince Albert instead.

The province said that the seven-day average of daily new cases is 243, or 20 new cases per 100,000 population.

There are currently 3,146 active cases. The province reported 178 recoveries Thursday, bringing that total to 4,176. There are 108 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 90 are receiving inpatient care with the remaining 18 in the ICU.

The province processed 3,493 COVID-19 tests yesterday.

The North Central zone reported 34 new cases Thursday.  Of those, 13 were in Prince Albert’s subzone, North Central 2. There are 151 active cases in the community.

Representatives from the Saskatchewan Health Authority are set to speak to reporters Thursday afternoon.

New measures suspending sports and other recreational activities and capping indoor events and recreational facilities at 30 people will come into effect Friday and be in place until December 17.