Saskatchewan reports first deaths from COVID-19

The provincial ministry of health is reporting the first two deaths as a result of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

The two residents were in their 70’s. One case was related to travel.

The province also announced 20 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 176.

Five people are in hospital. One of those patients is in intensive care in Regina.

Premier Scott Moe said the thoughts of Saskatchewan people are with the families of those who lost their lives.

“(Monday’s) sad news is a sobering reminder for us all that COVID-19 is a dangerous and a deadly disease,” Moe said. “We have to keep making efforts to to reduce the spread and we need to continue to adhere to the measures that are in place.”

Premier Scott Moe said more cases means more health resources are needed to do contact tracing.

“We currently had up to 150 staff that had been working on contact tracing in the province, and in the coming days we will be reassigning and additional 50 more ministry of health employees as well as other government of Saskatchewan staff to continue to expand our contact tracing efforts.”

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said the province is in a time where cases are regularly linked to community transmission.

“We really hope that over the next two weeks or so, our cases that are linked to gatherings or events will diminish because there really aren’t a lot of gatherings happening,” Dr. Shahab said. “We really want all of us to play a role in minimizing community transmission.”

NDP leader Ryan Meili also issued the following statement in relation to the two COVID-19 deaths:

“I first want to say to the friends and family of those who have died that our thoughts are with you in this moment of loss. To the rest of the province, I know that we are all anxious about the impact of COVID-19 on our lives and our families. We will get through this challenging time together, even as we stay apart to slow the spread.

“Today’s news reminds us how important it is for us to maintain physical distancing measures, for people to stay home as much as possible and to avoid gatherings. We also need to ramp up testing and trace contacts of people who have COVID-19 in order to identify and isolate cases and reduce the spread of the virus.

“I want to thank all of the frontline staff who are working so hard to keep us and our loved ones healthy, and everyone for following the measures required of us at this time.” -Ryan Meili

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