Case of COVID-19 identified in Humboldt

HUMBLOLDT — A confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified in Humboldt.

Rob Muench, the city’s mayor, said he received an email from the individual. He said as soon as he saw it this morning, he contacted Director of Protective Services Mike Kwasnica, City Manager Joe Day and MLA Donna Harpauer.

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“We then contacted the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency and Saskatchewan Health Authority who confirmed in a conference call this afternoon that this individual has indeed tested positive,” Muench said.

“We have been working with these agencies and have established that all necessary steps are being taken."

The city said the individual is being monitored by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

"I have contacted the individual personally, and he has advised me he placed himself in self-isolation the moment he suspected that he was experiencing symptoms and sought medical attention."

The health authority is still working to determine how the individual got the virus.

The Humboldt Journal has been alerted to the possibility that the individual in question has not travelled for the last two months. Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, said at a media teleconference on March 23 that he can’t comment on specific cases.

“Public health does do a detailed investigation about all of the contacts, who are then informed to either self-isolate for close contacts or self-mentor for non-close contacts. That’s one way of breaking the chain of transmission.”

He added that people continuing to follow the government restrictions and staying apart from each other would also break the chain of transmission, even if the virus was spreading among the community.

Scott Moe, Saskatchewan’s premier, was asked by the Humboldt Journal how concerned the province was about the possibility the virus was spread not by a traveller coming home, but from within the community.

“I think that community transmission, in not just in Humboldt but across the province, is something that we have openly said will happen and will occur at some point in time,” he said. “I think it’s important for all of us to remember that this virus is out, we are going to be exposed to it over the next number of months.”

Moe said that at some point, all are going to be exposed to the virus, but the province’s goal is to ensure that not everybody gets it at the same time and thereby overloading the healthcare system.

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