Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab sent out a warning to the Prince Albert area during the province's COVID-19 press availability on Friday. Shahab said that after many weeks with no cases there has been four cases reported in the area in the last week. The cases are not linked.
Shahab explained that in other cases where there is known contacts it is less of a level of concern.
“When you see cases in the same geographical area that are not linked to one another that is always a flag that shows there is ongoing community transmission that is now emerging,” Shahab said.
“Right now there is a caution for Prince Albert we have to watch that. But if in the future there is increased transmission in a particular community then extra precautions may include slowing down or reconsidering visitation to long-term care facilities.”
He advised everyone to continue to take precautions in the area, especially because the four cases were not related.
“I think it is definitely the message for the Prince Albert area is that if you have symptoms stay home, consider getting tested or calling 811. Even if you don't have symptoms and you are planning a get together or a gathering be considerate of who is coming, maintain that physical distancing in terms of how you lay things out,” he said.
He advised everyone to be considerate of those at high risk even if they are in your household or expanded household.
“I think we need to watch very closely to see emergent settings where in the past there were no cases and then there is a bit of a concern in the Prince Albert area,” Shahab said.
“We will have to keep monitoring and using extra precautions throughout Saskatchewan when something like this emerges and hopefully as we go into spring our own actions can really flatten the curve. I think that we all have to be aware of what is happening locally and to reconsider what we were planning even socially and be more cautious of things we practice all of the time if there is a local outbreak or increase in transmission.”