Sask. increases to 72 confirmed COVID-19 cases, health authority expanding capacity

Make it a total of 72 Saskatchewan cases of COVID-19. The provincial government announced six more people are confirmed to have tested positive for the disease.

None of the new cases reported March 24 are in northern Saskatchewan. Since the outbreak began, three cases of COVID-19 have been reported in northern Saskatchewan, but where in the province each case was reported has not been confirmed by the government. Just under 5,800 tests have been processed at the province's Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory.

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Out of the cases confirmed by the province thus far, six out of every 10 COVID-19 cases have been reported in males, with most cases reported in people between the ages of 20 and 64. Four cases have no clear exposure history, according to Saskatchewan deputy medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab.

In response to COVID-19, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is starting to expand capacity across the province, slowing down non-essential services, supporting a labour pool to reallocation resources and supplies and increase the number of beds available.

In a March 24 statement, SHA CEO Scott Livingstone said viewing other regions' response to the disease has allowed health officials to prepare for what's coming.

“Based on what we know from other jurisdictions, it is critical we act immediately to expand acute care capacity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” Livingstone said.  

“Demand will exceed capacity.  All jurisdictions are facing this challenge.  We are not alone.  We are acting immediately to ensure Saskatchewan residents get the care they need from the right provider, at the right time, with the right supports in place."

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