COVID-19 in Sask: 7 new cases, 4 recoveries reported Thursday

Saskatchewan reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. There are four in the Saskatoon area, one in the southwest, and two in the southeast.

Organizer of private gathering in Saskatoon that led to 21 cases fined $2K

Saskatchewan reported seven new COVID-19 cases Thursday. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer confirmed Thursday that some COVID-19 cases in Saskatoon schools are connected with a private gathering that has led to at least 21 cases so far.

Dr. Saqib Shahab said he wasn't sure of the exact number of school cases connected with the gathering, but said the province remains hopeful schools can continue on as-is.

"There's no single reason why we have six schools with a case each," Shahab said. He said it's a mix of the private gathering, travel, and close contacts testing positive. 

Schools and public health are working together on possible transmission within schools, Shabab said. 

The province said it will be providing more specific information about COVID-19 trends among youth and in schools. Reports will be published weekly, on Thursdays.

The organizer of the private gathering at the Saskatoon home will be fined $2,000, the province said Thursday.

About 47 people were at the gathering, the province said, which contravenes a public health order. Thirty people are allowed at indoor or outdoor gatherings. If physical distancing can't be observed, the gathering needs to be smaller.

Around 160 people are contacts stemming from the gathering, the province said.

Daily numbers

Saskatchewan reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Four are in the Saskatoon area, one is in the southwest and two are in the southeast.

None of the new Saskatoon cases are connected to the private gathering, which was first announced by the province on Sept. 13. Officials say they are still expecting more cases connected to the gathering to be found. 

A case reported Wednesday with a pending location was deemed to be out-of-province and will not be counted in the Saskatchewan total.

There are 109 known active cases in the province now. Twenty-nine of those are in communal living situations. Five people are currently in hospital receiving in-patient care. 

A look at COVID numbers around the province. (CBC)

Saskatoon Police Service Chief Troy Cooper confirmed Thursday afternoon that one of its civilian staff members has tested positive for COVID-19. Cooper said the person did not contract the virus at work, and that the person's contacts are self-isolating at home. 

Mask use

During Thursday's COVID-19 news conference, Dr. Shahab was asked about anti-mask groups popping up on social media.

Before Shahab answered, Premier Scott Moe said, "If you don't want to wear a mask, that's fine. But you should stay two metres apart from people."

Shahab responded by saying a mask is an additional layer of protection when you can't physically distance.

"The evidence is clear this simple action can make a difference."