Saskatchewan

Thinking of having someone over for dinner? Think again, says Sask.'s top doctor

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, recommends that people postpone visits to other households during the COVID-19 pandemic as a measure to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

No gatherings of more than 10 people unless living together, Dr. Shahab recommends

Dr. Saqib Shahab is Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer (CBC)

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. That's the message Dr. Saqib Shahab is sending the Saskatchewan public as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the province.

Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer, has recommended people hold-off on hosting friends for the time being.

"Some of the largest outbreaks in Canada occurred in the home setting where people have gathered together and shared a meal," Shahab said at a news conference on March 27.

He recommended that no gatherings of more than 10 people take place unless everyone lives in the same home and that no one visit other households.

"That is critical. It seems harsh but that is critical to limit further transmission," he said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan reached 176 on Monday. The province also reported its first two deaths, both people in their 70s. The province said the number of tests administered in total so far is 9,651.

"There are more specific restrictions if you are sick than if you are self-monitoring or asymptomatic, but the bottom line is that everybody should self-isolate to the fullest extent possible," a government spokesperson said in an email.

The email was in response to CBC, asking for clarification about whether or not Dr. Shahab was making a recommendation or a public health order.

RCMP arrested 11 people Friday morning for violating the public health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people and laid dangerous driving, firearms and weapons-related charges.

With files from Bonnie Allen

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