News on Wednesday that there has been an outbreak of COVID19 at the Lloydminster hospital and that there were 11 new cases in La Loche has prompted Premier Scott Moe to say those two communities will not take part in phase one of the plan to re-open Saskatchewan on Monday.
In La Loche, Moe says plans are being made to send between 50 and 100 health-care workers to the area to carry out more intensive testing with the hope being all in the community will get tested with no one being turned away.
In Lloydminster, the Saskatchewan Health Authority says 13 cases have been identified with transmission occurring at the hospital. Of the 13, five are health-care workers with the other eight being patients. The SHA”s medical health officer for the region, Dr. Mandiangu Nsungu, says in total there have been 34 cases in Lloydminster with 18 having recovered.
While phase one of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan will not go ahead Monday in the two centres, Premier Moe has no qualms about proceeding with the beginning of the five-phase plan.
“We feel quite confident with respect to Phase 1 of our reopening plan moving forward, it is a phase that involves a number of medical services that otherwise would be provided here in the province.”
Provincial Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says these two examples show how quickly the virus can come back and should serve as a reminder to continue being vigilant with measures like physical distancing.
Moe also announced the province’s state of emergency for another two weeks and reminded citizens that if anyone is taking the plan to re-open the province slowly as a signal to relax personal responsibilities when it comes to good physical distancing then that is a complete misinterpretation of what has been said.