Fourteenth death from COVID-19 announced by province

The Saskatchewan Legislature. -- Herald File Photo

A 14th person has passed away from COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, the province announced Thursday. The person lived in the far north and was in their 70s.

The case count rose 10 over the last two days with six new cases reported on July 2 and four new cases reported on July 1.

Seven of the new cases are in the far north, two are in the north and one is in the Saskatoon region.

Of the 795 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 80 are considered active, an decrease of eight from Tuesday’s update. The recovered number has gone up an additional 17 to 701 from Tuesday.

“Most of the active cases continue to be associated with two localized outbreaks in the northwest and the southwest portions of our province,” Premier Scott Moe said during Tuesday’s press availability.

“While localized outbreaks will continue to occur the number of active cases in our province remain very low,” he added.

Chief Medical Health Officer Saqib Shahab advised people to continue using best practices.

“If we do follow the basic principles if they go out and about and seeking testing the first time that symptoms, maintaining physical distancing where it is possible, using a reusable mask where appropriate and otherwise complying with all of the guidelines. We certainly hope to see very few cases or outbreaks over all,” Shahab said.

There are six people in hospital with illnesses related to COVID-19, two more than reported Tuesday.

Three individuals are receiving inpatient care in the hospital; two in Saskatoon and one in the north. Three people are now listed in intensive care; two in the North and one in Saskatoon, that is an increase of two from the last report.

The total number of cases is 795, of those 334 of the cases are from the far north, 187 are from the Saskatoon area, 118 are from the north, 80 are from the Regina area, 64 are from the south and 12 are from the central region.

Of the 785 cases in the province: 165 cases are related to travel, 478 are community contacts, which includes mass gatherings, 109 have no known exposures and 43 are under investigation by local public health.

As of July 2 , 67,243 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the province an increase of 1,303 from Tuesday.

As of June 29 when other provincial and national numbers were available from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 49,529 people tested per million population. The national rate was 73,695 people tested per million population.

The province also announced that they would no longer be providing updates on weekends or Statutory Holidays beginning on Canada Day.

Last weekend the case count changed as the province announced on June 18 the Public Health Agency of Canada provided surveillance guidance regarding the attribution of COVID‐19 cases amongst the provinces and territories.

As of June 27, 10 cases that were attributed to Saskatchewan will no longer be included in the Saskatchewan total count.

Case counts may change with the provision of additional information during the public health investigation.

Northern Medical Health Officers rescind travel advisory for northern Alberta

The Office of the northern Medical Health Officers for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority rescinded a travel advisory regarding non-essential travel to Northern Alberta on Thursday.

The initial advisory as issued on April 18 after a number of COVID-19 cases in northwest Saskatchewan were linked to travel to northern Alberta. The Medical Health Officer responsible for the area in Alberta has declared an outbreak over.

While the travel advisory has been rescinded, the northern Medical Health Officers for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority continue to advise residents to take precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. This includes proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

If you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 please self-isolate and contact 811 or your community health clinic for assessment and testing.