Four COVID-19 cases in Sask. with no clear connection to travellers

Out of the 72 cases of COVID-19 in the province, there are four that have no clear link to other cases, said the province’s chief medical health officer.

“Today I can confirm that we have now four cases without a clear exposure history: one in the Regina area, two in the Saskatoon area and one in Central Saskatchewan,” Dr. Saqib Shahab said at a media teleconference on March 24.

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The Central Saskatchewan region contains Humboldt.

These four cases might be examples of community transmission: where the virus is being spread by those with no clear link to travellers and those they have infected.

Shahab said when there’s a case of COVID-19, they ask the person if they’ve been travelling, if they went to a large event or if they are in close contact with somebody that saw a traveler.

“If the answer keeps coming back, ‘no,’ then you have to admit that, yes, there was an unknown exposure to somebody that travelled, maybe wasn’t self-isolating, who knows?” he said.

The chief medical health officer said that based on those cases, he would be making some further recommendations today about further increasing testing for people who have not traveled.

“We already tested a large number of people in the ERs, in the inpatient setting, in the long term care setting,” he said. “We will be expanding that to people in the outpatient setting who have not traveled. There is lab capacity to maintain that.”

Shahab added his office is looking at other measures beyond what are already in place to try to further limit the spread of the virus.

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