Saskatchewan

Hospital visits restricted amid cluster of COVID-19 cases in Prince Albert

The province says there's been a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in the Prince Albert area and it's been difficult to do contact tracing in the city because many people aren't going in to get tested.

8 active cases in province's north region as of Thursday

The province says enhanced restrictions will remain in place at Victoria Hospital until further notice. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is urging people to be cautious when travelling to and from Prince Albert for the time being.

The province said there's been a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in the area, and it's been difficult to do contact tracing in the city because many people aren't going in to get tested.

As of Thursday, there were eight active cases of COVID-19 in the province's north region, where Prince Albert is located.

Visits to the city's Victoria Hospital and care homes are being restricted as a precaution.

"This means family members or support people will only be permitted for compassionate reasons. No other visitors are allowed into the facilities at this time and these enhanced restrictions will remain in place at Victoria Hospital and long-term care homes in Prince Albert until further notice," the health authority said in a news release.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said he recommends people refrain from travelling too far from their homes, but said he understands that the Prince Albert area is a popular place to visit in the summer.

"If you have a cabin or you've booked a campsite or you're planning to go there with your family, by all means go, but just comply with those precautions about physical distancing, handwashing, not travelling if you're sick," said Shahab.

Shahab said testing is vital for anyone showing even the mildest symptoms, no matter what age group. The SHA adds anyone with symptoms should protect themselves and others, especially the vulnerable, by staying home, self-isolating and getting tested.

now