Updated as of 4:50 p.m., March 20.
The provincial government announced six new presumptive COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan today, including two people who were tested in Prince Albert.
Both individuals are in their 60s and recently travelled to Arizona.
All other new cases were tested in Regina. They include a person in their 20s who travelled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, a person in their 50s who travelled to Jordan, and a person in their 20s who travelled to an unspecified part of the United States.
The final patient is in their 60s, but the provincial government said additional details are not yet available. Public health is actively compiling information on this case.
“This is a very narrow and rapidly closing window of opportunity that we have to really try to prevent, as much as we can, any local transmission (of COVID-19),” Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s Chief Medical Health Officer, said during a media briefing Friday afternoon. “We know it will happen, but I think we really need to make sure the potential opportunities are minimized.”
The provincial government issued a number of new restrictions on gatherings and self-isolation on Friday to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Shahab said residents who attended large gatherings in other provinces have been exposed to the virus. The goal is to keep that from happening again in Saskatchewan.
‘The time is now to really try to just calm everything down, see where we are in two weeks and then keep reassessing at two week periods to make sure, as much as we can, that we maintain the curve as flat as possible,” he explained.
As of Friday, Saskatchewan now has 26 cases of Covid-19, eight of which have been confirmed at a national lab in Winnipeg. The other 18 are presumptive, having been confirmed at the provincial lab in Saskatoon, but still need confirmation in Winnipeg.
Two COVID-19 patients are currently in hospital for non-Coronavirus related reasons. The others are self-isolating at home.
For information on self-isolation, personal protection measures and information for care providers, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19. The government asks that you use the website’s online self-assessment tool to determine if you should contact HealthLine 811 for a referral.