Coronavirus outbreaks declared at Yorkton, Sask., hospital, high school, gym

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has declared three coronavirus outbreaks in Yorkton, Sask.

In a press release Monday, the health authority advised of “a cluster of COVID-19 cases” in the area. According to a section of the provincial government’s website dedicated to providing pandemic-related updates, outbreaks were flagged on Sunday at:  Yorkton Regional Health Centre, Yorkton Regional High School and Pumphouse Athletic Club

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Yorkton Regional High School, classes move online

Public health officials say the declaration of an outbreak occurs when two or more people test positive for the coronavirus outside of a household setting and that the terminology is used to reflect the mobilization and co-ordination of the response effort.

While not every outbreak presents risk to the public, the SHA provides notice when there is cause for concern.

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Monday’s provincial press release attributes the outbreak in Yorkton’s hospital appears to community transmission, noting that of the 17 cases identified in the community to date, three are health care workers at the facility.

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Close contacts have been identified, states the release, and are being tested.

Healthcare services at the hospital are uninterrupted and that people are encouraged to seek them if needed, states the press release.

Read more: Novel coronavirus detected or spread in 37 public Saskatchewan locations since July

Also impacted by the coronavirus are Yorkton RCMP. A front-line officer of the detachment tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend, according to a separate press release also sent on Monday, but by the police.

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The officer is self-isolating, as are 14 other offices and six civilian employees considered close contacts. They are being tested for the coronavirus, states the police release.

RCMP say the SHA has advised that the detachment close temporarily to the general public for non-emergency matters for two weeks as of Monday. Phone calls will continue to be answered.

“Over the past six months, the Saskatchewan RCMP has been preparing for exactly this type of situation,” states the police release. “We have been putting in place measures to ensure our officers and employees continue responding to calls, 24 hours a day, seven days a week right across the province.

“Residents can be assured there will be police officers in the community to respond to calls for service in a priority manner as if there was a functioning detachment. The Saskatchewan RCMP is following all directions given by the SHA in relation to this positive test result.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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