COVID-19 risk remains ‘very low’ in Saskatchewan: Ministry of Health

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health says there is a very low risk of COVID-19 in the province.

The virus formerly known as novel coronavirus has not recorded one positive case Saskatchewan after several rounds of tests.

Dr. Saqib Shahab, chief medical health officer for the ministry, told reports on Thursday morning that 15 residents have been tested for COVID-19 with negative results. One test is still pending with results expected in two to three days.

He said the ministry is also in close contact with other parts of the country.

“We connect with the federal government and our provincial and territorial partners twice a week. We have conference calls twice a week and obviously we update each other on how things are going,” explained Dr. Shahab.

He also said they have received a regular amount of questions and inquiries through the 811 HealthLine from people who have travelled.

“We have had a total of 86 calls over the last couple of weeks. The call volumes are what we would expect with very limited travel from Hubei province – about 60 to 70 people come to all of Canada from Hubei.”

He added that each province and territory aligns with recommendations for people who travel from Hubei province in China and may have the virus.

Those recommendations ask travellers to monitor their symptoms for two weeks in self-isolation.

Flu season slowing down

Influenza season is tapering down in Saskatchewan according to Dr. Shahab.

Numbers haven’t increased since the Ministry of Health’s last update which stands at 25 ICU admissions and 11 deaths.

But there have been two additional outbreaks in long-term care facilities, bringing that number up to 47.

Dr. Shahab said this year’s flu season in Saskatchewan is very typical compared to previous years.

“The message is if you’re out and about, influenza is what you need to be aware of,” he stated.

“Stay home if you’re sick, stay home from school. Cough in your sleeve, wash your hands often, and once you’re feeling well, you can go back to school or work.”

In terms of the effectiveness of the flu vaccine this year, he said the ministry won’t receive that data until May or June.

Residents can still get the flu shot if they haven’t done so already.

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