Jump of 30 new COVID-19 cases in one day in Saskatchewan

Two cases of community transmission known in the Battlefords-Prince Albert area

The province of Saskatchewan has recorded the biggest one-day increase yet in cases of COVID-19.

As of March 28, 2020, the province has 30 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 134.

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According to the province, the high number of cases from the north and central regions are linked to the Christopher Lake snowmobile rally dinner held Saturday, March 14. One attendee tested positive on March 25; since then the total has climbed to 18 cases which have been linked to this event. Each one self-isolating at home.

According to Dr.Khami Chokani, medical health officer with Sask. Health Authority, they became aware of one individual testing positive for COVID-19 on March 25. Since then they have interviewed this person to gather information and determine the individuals the person had contact with.

This list of individuals has been compiled and contact with those persons is being made. They have so far contacted 76 individuals, from which 18 had COVID-19.

All persons attending the rally supper are asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of the supper. "This is extremely important to contain the spread," said Chokani. It is known that around 250 people attended the rally and 110 were at the supper. 

Of the 134 cases, six are in hospital across the province, with three in acute care and three in intensive care units (ICU). The breakdown for inpatient cases is one in the north, one in Saskatoon and one in Regina. The breakdown for ICU cases one in central Saskatchewan, one in Saskatoon and one in Regina. No deaths have been reported so far.

At least seven cases are a result of local transmission; the rest are either travel-related or cluster-related due to exposure at mass gatherings.

Five cases are individuals 19 years and under; the others are adults. 58 cases are ages 20-44; 49 are ages 45-64; 22 are 65-plus.

The gender breakdown is 57-43 per cent male-female.

In total, four people have recovered from the virus though more cases may yet be reported to Public Health.  

8,248 COVID-19 tests have been performed by the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory to date. The province is reporting Saskatchewan ranks third in the country for travel and non travel-related testing. The province is also reporting more than 25,000 telephone assessments were conducted by Saskatchewan physicians in the first 10 days since this was made available.

The province also states that the Ministry of Health will be deploying additional staff to the Saskatchewan Health Authority to assist with contact tracing. 

POSSIBLE CASES IN BATTLEFORDS AREA?

At todays update Dr. Saqib Shahab was asked by the News-Optimist if he could shed light on numbers of cases of COVID-19 in the Battlefords.

Shahab said he knew of "two cases in the P.A.- Battlefords area ... two cases of community transmission." He did not have any further specifics about cases for the community.

Dr. Shahab went on to say he wanted people to remember two things. One was that COVID-19 could impact any of us, and "we have to be very careful about respecting the privacy of the individuals who test positive," said Shahab. He noted the contact investigation is done "very confidentially."

The second point Dr. Shahab made was that the risk was throughout in the province.

"It's not helpful at all now to know where those cases are in isolated communities because the risk really is everywhere. We cannot make any change of behaviour depending on this community or that community. I emphasize that point enough that we cannot use testing numbers or testing locations to guide our behavior. It really is the same no matter where we are in Saskatchewan." 

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