COVID-19 in Sask: Cases jump to 156 after 22 new cases on Sunday

Out of all of the age categories, people between the ages of 20 to 44 make up the majority of cases at 69, followed by those aged 45 to 64 with 69 cases and those over 65 accounting for 23 cases.

8 people have now recovered from virus

Dr. Susan Shaw is the chief medical health officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. In a letter to the public, Dr. Shaw called on members of the Saskatchewan public to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. (Saskatchewan Health Authority/Facebook)

Click here for the latest: COVID-19 in Sask: 'We can't predict when we will get back to normal,' top doc says

Saskatchewan now has 156 cases of COVID-19. 

On Sunday, the Saskatchewan government announced 22 new cases in the province. 

Of the 156 cases, the majority of them are in Saskatoon (72 cases), with Regina coming in second (34 cases). There are 10 cases in the central area of the province, four in the south and three cases are in the far north. 

Five cases are said to be in individuals under the age of 19, with all of the other cases being listed as adults.

The number of people who have recovered from the virus has also doubled. On Saturday, the province listed four people as having recovered, by Sunday afternoon that number had jumped to eight recoveries. 

The number of cases as broken down by the Government of Saskatchewan on March 29, 2020. As of Sunday afternoon, there were 156 cases of COVID-19 in the province. (Morgan Modjeski/CBC)

The number of people in ICU has also dropped by one. On Saturday, there were three people listed as being in ICU, that figure dropped to two on Sunday. Three other people are listed as being in in-patient care. 

Cases of community transmission remained static at seven. 

Out of all of the age categories, people between the ages of 20 to 44 make up the majority of cases at 69, followed by those aged 45 to 64 with 59 cases and those over 65 accounting for 23 cases. 

So far, the province has conducted 9,086 tests for COVID-19.

Personal plea made to public 

The chief medical health officer of the Saskatchewan Health Authority has made a personal plea to the people of Saskatchewan. 

In a letter titled: "We need our 13th man," Dr. Susan Shaw calls for the people of Saskatchewan to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

"As a physician, I stand behind the province's prescription of social distancing for every citizen of Saskatchewan," she said in the letter. "I never thought I'd see the day when people physically avoiding each other was a positive development. It's not just positive right now, it's absolutely necessary." 

The SHA posted this letter on Facebook Saturday night. (Saskatchewan Health Authority/Facebook)

Dr. Shaw said recent modelling from the SHA indicating thousands of deaths could result from the virus was a "sobering wake up call."

The letter also included a statistic indicating that one person infected with COVID-19 can result in 59,000 cases of COVID-19 as it's passed along from person to person.

"No health system in the world can withstand this pressure when multiplied over an entire population," she said. "That is why it is up to you. Our health system will be there for you if you are there for us." 

As the letter continues, she calls on the people of Saskatchewan and "Rider Nation" to be the healthcare system's "13th man on the field."

The summary of cases that has been posted to the Government of Saskatchewan COVID-19 website as of March 28, 2020. (Government of Saskatchewan)

"We need you to limit the spread. We need you to take this seriously, stay home whenever and wherever possible and make every effort you can to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19," she said. "If you can delay the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, we can tackle it." 

Most cases mild 

On Saturday, the Government of Saskatchewan held a press conference to announce a large jump of 30 cases in the province, with 18 being linked to a snowmobile rally at Christopher Lake on March 14. 

Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer, said there's been a jump in confirmed cases, but the province is starting to see people getting better after contracting the virus. 

"We have an additional person who has fully recovered, so four out of our 134 cases are recovering," he said. "Again, this is important to recognize that most cases are mild and many, we anticipate, will have a full recovery after two to three weeks from symptom onset."

Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab speaks during an update on COVID-19 at the Legislative Building in Regina on March 11. On Saturday, Dr. Shahab said it's important we don't try to assign blame in these situations, after 18 positive tests were linked to a snowmobile rally near Christoper Lake. (Michael Bell/Canadian Press)

There are now three events that have contributed to a large portion of the province's cases. 11 cases are being attributed to a Bonspiel in Edmonton, 18 are being connected to the Lakeland Snowmobile Club Wilderness Rally Supper and three are being attributed to a dental conference that took place in Vancouver earlier in March. 

Dr. Shahab said it's important not to assign blame in these situations. 

"We have to be very careful not to assign blame to any event," said Dr. Shahab, adding that nobody wants to invite people to an event to get them sick.