Junos will continue as scheduled as no COVID-19 cases confirmed in Sask.

Saskatchewan has not been affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, so the Junos will continue on as scheduled.

Between 50 and 70 tests for the novel coronavirus have been conducted with zero confirmations

Dr. Johnmark Opondo said the Saskatchewan Health Authority is 'vigilant' in monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. No cases have been confirmed in Saskatchewan. (Don Somers/CBC)

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has not been confirmed or detected in Saskatchewan so the Junos will continue on as scheduled.

The news was announced in Saskatoon on Monday, the same day the first death from the coronavirus was announced in British Columbia.

"We have had no positive case. We have had no signs of local transmission but we've had people who've travelled from a variety of places," said Dr. Johnmark Opondo, medical health officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Saskatoon.

"We are vigilant and we are looking out."

The announcement comes as several prominent gatherings across North America have been cancelled or modified to reduce transmission risks, including the 2020 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Opondo said he has been in contact with organizers of the Junos so the appropriate safety measures are in place and that the Junos committee was receptive to the discussions.

He added there have been between 50 and 70 tests for the coronavirus in the province and none have confirmed the presence of the virus.

Tickets for the event have been selling and there are still tickets available, according to Scott Ford, executive director of the SaskTel Centre

Staff at the SaskTel Centre have also been taking extra steps and precautions, such as extra washings of door knobs and an increased supply of hand sanitizer around the facility.

The Junos are scheduled to run March 9 to 15.

Junos instructions for staff and participants

Junos organizers have released a list of preventive health messages for participants and staff, including:

  • Stay home (or in hotel) when you are sick, except to get medical care.

  • Call Sask. Health Line 811 for guidance once self-isolated. 

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, and then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 

  • Recommend that participants minimize close contact such as hand shaking or hugging.

  • Promote messages that discourage people who are sick from attending events. 

  • Promote proper and frequent hand hygiene.


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