COVID-19 outbreak linked to two large family gatherings in Saskatoon

REGINA — Health officials have declared a community outbreak of COVID-19 in Saskatoon after two family gatherings were held that went over the 10-person limit.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said Wednesday that one person had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and another was a presumptive positive.

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It said the infections were detected within the last week or so and are linked to gatherings earlier this month.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said different households are affected and contact tracing has so far involved about 60 people, but it's believed the spread is contained.

The health authority said close contacts were isolating at home.

Shahab also reported three new cases of COVID-19 — two of them from around Regina.

He said the Saskatoon outbreak along with the Regina cases demonstrate that the risk posed by the virus isn't over.

"What this underscores is that we cannot go back to business as usual even though summer is beckoning," he said during a briefing.

"We will have to be very cautious. We still need to minimize transmission risk where we can, and we already know that getting together around food is high-risk."

The province also announced that two more residents in the far north had died from COVID-19. That brought the death toll from the illness to 10.

Of Saskatchewan's 637 total cases, 68 were active and 559 patients had recovered. Four people remained in hospital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2020

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