Sask. expands COVID-19 testing to 'at-risk' populations

The province says details on accessing the expanded testing will be released the week of May 18.

The province says details on accessing the expanded testing will be released the week of May 18

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, Quebec, on Sunday, May 10, 2020. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Saskatchewan residents returning to work will soon be able to get tested for COVID-19. 

The provincial government says testing will be done particularly for those returning to work as part of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. 

The province says the following "at-risk populations" will also be proactively tested: 

  • All patients being admitted to an acute care hospital for a stay longer than 24 hours — such as expectant mothers coming to a hospital to give birth.
  • Immunocompromised asymptomatic people — including cancer patients before going through immunosuppressive procedures such as chemotherapy. 
  • All health staff working with immunocompromised people. 
  • High volume work settings — such as factories and industrial settings. 

The provincial government says more details on accessing the expanded testing will be provided on the week of May 18.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is also expanding active case finding in vulnerable populations, such as people suffering from homelessness and is working on active case finding with First Nations and Métis communities. 

It says if widespread community transmission happens then a community-wide testing initiative will be implemented. 

Some symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The provincial government says all residents experiencing even mild COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to contact 811 about being tested.

Currently, people are being tested if they come into contact of someone known or suspected as having COVID-19, if they are identified as high risk, if they are being admitted to a long-term care home and personal care homes and all residents and staff in long-term and personal care homes if a positive case is confirmed.