Saskatchewan reported more recoveries than new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
Four new cases were added on Monday, with 14 people reported as recovered from the virus.
In his Monday press conference with Chief Medical Officer Shahiq Shahab Premier Moe wouldn’t say if this was a trend but called it good news.
“It shows that what we are doing is working, together we are reducing the spread, we are flattening the curve. Once again I say to all of the people of Saskatchewan thank you for your efforts,” Moe said.
He added that the efforts need to continue. Moe also updated on the report of loss projections which begin tomorrow.
“Last week I committed that the Saskatchewan Health Authority would provide an update on Saskatchewan’s loss projections and the capacity that our health system is building to deal with any potential surge in COVID-19 cases. I can confirm that the Saskatchewan Health Authority will be providing an in-depth briefing,” he said.
Moe explained that the SHA would begin to be offered every Tuesday going forward.
“This briefing will include a number of modelling scenarios of the impact of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. And it will include an overview of the SHAs’ surging capacity. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is providing this update because we feel it is important that the public has access to the latest and to ensure that the public consistently has the latest information available,” Moe said.
Over the weekend, the province reported 11 cases on Saturday and 18 on Sunday — an increase of 29 cases.
Nineteen more people were announced as recovered over the weekend. Combined with Monday’s 14 recoveries, the provincial total is now 81.
Saskatchewan now has a total of 253 cases of COVID-19. Of these, 169 of the cases are considered active, or confirmed cases minus those reported as recoveries and deaths.
“Starting today we are now reporting active cases. These are the total number of confirmed cases minus the number of confirmed and recovered,” Moe said.
The province said in their daily release that the active case count may be overestimated based on recovery information reported to date.
Of the 253 cases in the province, 112 cases are travellers, 77 are community contacts (mass gatherings included), 14 have no known exposures and 50 are under investigation by local public health. As in Sunday’s update, there continue to be four people in hospital in the province. In Monday’s update, one more person has moved to ICU care in Saskatoon, joining the one previously reported in Regina.
Prince Albert’s region, the north, reported 47 cases, the same as in Sunday’s update. 127 of the cases are from the Saskatoon area which increased by four over Sunday’s update, 51 are from the Regina area, 15 are from the south, 10 are from the central region and three from the far north.
“Our numbers keep going up and down but they seem to be fairly low in this way and we need to keep it there,” Shahab said.
According to Shahab Saskatoon sees a high number of cases due to travel and a mass event according to Shahab. The north sees high numbers due to a mass event.
So far, 11 cases involve people aged 19 or younger. The rest are adults.
The 20-44 age range had 110 cases on Monday, an increase of two from Sunday’s update, 89 cases are in the 45-64 age range, an increase of one from Sunday and 43 cases are in the 65 or older age range which is a decrease of five from Sunday’s update; 53 per cent of the cases are males a decrease of one percent from Sunday’s update and 47 per cent are females.
No additional deaths were reported on Monday or over the weekend. The provincial total remains at three. To date, 14,178 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the province.
Shahab explained that essential services such as healthcare, grocery stores and others need to be supported among themselves and members of the public. This is done through good physical distancing practices in the workplace.
“Sometimes in the workplace, it is easy to fall back into your old habits whether you sit down closer together for a meal or you are using the washroom and not being as attentive in terms of hand hygiene and not touching your face and eyes and opening doors,”
Shahab also explained that cases are coming from grocery shopping and encouraged better practices such as only having one person from each household do the shopping once a week. Shahab also discouraged browsing when shopping.
Shahab also discussed cloth masks which were a topic of conversation on the weekend because of NDP leader Ryan Meili advocating their usage. He continued to stress staying home and practicing proper social distancing even on walks.
“As long as you are not symptomatic whether you use a mask or not does not make a difference. In settings where you may be going grocery shopping, again all of those other things — physical distancing, not touching your eyes, nose and mouth do apply,” Shahab said.
“Obviously, if you would choose to wear a cloth mask the benefit would be if you cough or sneeze and you don’t cough or sneeze in your elbow but do into a mask you can stop droplet transmission to other surfaces. But having said that we all need to practice good hand hygiene and not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.”