Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.  Daily case numbers and information for businesses and workers.

The Re-Open Saskatchewan plan was released on April 23rd.

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About COVID-19

Learn more about COVID-19 including symptoms, treatment and how to protect yourself.

This information is available as a PDF for download and print.

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1. Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold.

Common symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • fever;
  • cough;
  • headaches;
  • aches and pains;
  • sore throat;
  • chills;
  • runny nose;
  • loss of sense of taste or smell;
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

These may be unexplained new or worsening symptoms, and may vary. Some people experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Older people or those with chronic illnesses may be at higher risk for a more severe form of the disease.

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2. What is COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some cause illness in people, while others circulate among animals. Some coronaviruses transmit easily from person to person while others do not.

COVID-19 is a new virus that has not been previously identified. At present it is causing mild to moderately severe symptoms and some deaths. The virus spreads through close person-to-person contact. As with new viruses, further details will be available as we learn more.

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3. How COVID-19 Spreads

The infection transmits via coughing and sneezing (droplet transmission). It can also be spread by touching surfaces with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands. While it is not yet known exactly how long COVID19 lives on surfaces, preliminary evidence suggests it can live on objects and surfaces from a few hours to several days. Therefore, isolation at home or hospital is important to prevent transmission.

It is recommended to maintain a social distance of ideally two metres and at minimum one metre.

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4. Treatment

As with most respiratory illnesses, most people with COVID-19 illness will recover on their own. There is no specific treatment for disease caused by COVID-19. Severe or worsening symptoms may require supportive treatment in hospital.

If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, see a health care provider or call HealthLine at 811. If HealthLine 811 recommends you seek acute care, they will provide instruction to call ahead.

Currently, there is no approved vaccine that protects against coronaviruses, including COVID-19.

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5. How to Protect Yourself

Currently, there is no approved vaccine that protects people against coronaviruses.

As a respiratory illness, the best method to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to practise everyday preventive actions, including:

  • Practise proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into a tissue or the bend of your elbow);
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Clean and disinfect your home regularly;
  • Maintain safe food practices;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Avoid unnecessary travel to affected areas; and
  • Avoid large crowds and practice physical distancing (do not shake hands, hug or kiss).

Evidence suggests wearing a surgical/medical mask does not prevent the wearer from becoming sick; however, it may provide an additional layer of protection for those around them if they are sick. The World Health Organization supports wearing a medical mask as one prevention measure that can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19. If a mask is worn, it should be done in addition to other preventative measures as noted above, and not in place of them. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, you should wear a surgical mask when seeking medical care at a health facility. If possible, please phone the facility prior to attending. If you are going to a health care facility for treatment, are experiencing respiratory symptoms and do not have a mask, ask for one at the admission desk and one will be provided to you.

Get more information at the Government of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

FOR CAREGIVERS IN THE HOME

If HealthLine 811, public health officials or your healthcare provider have advised you to self-isolate, you may be cared for at home.

If you are providing care to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 at home, it's recommended to keep distant from an affected individual as much as possible. Hand hygiene should be performed frequently, preferably using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Wear a surgical mask when in the same room with the affected individual and dispose of the mask immediately after use. Hand hygiene should also be performed following removal of the mask. Eye protection is also recommended.

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6. Effects of COVID-19 on Animals

There is no evidence to date that domestic livestock and most pets can be infected with or transmit COVID-19; however, this has also not been ruled out. There have been recent reports that cats and ferrets may be susceptible to infection, as well as limited reports of cats with mild clinical signs, but there is no evidence that the disease can spread from cats or ferrets back to humans. Anyone who has COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, just as they should with people, until more information is available. If there is already an animal in the household, that animal should remain in isolation along with the patient.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has released the following statement regarding anyone who has COVID-19 and pets:

  • Avoid close contact with them - Do not snuggle or kiss them, let them lick you, sit on your lap, or sleep in your bed
  • Practise good cough etiquette - Avoid coughing or sneezing on your animals
  • Have another member of your household care for your animals
  • Always wash your hands before touching or feeding your animals
  • Limit your animal's contact with other people and animals - This may mean keeping them indoors

An additional risk to animals is what will happen to them if their owners become ill and are unable to take care of them. In these situations, humane societies, boarding kennels and veterinary clinics may not be willing to care for your pet due to the uncertainty around animals and COVID-19. You can help reduce these concerns by planning for your pet's care in advance. This includes identifying a family member or friend who will care for your animals if you become ill or are hospitalized. Animal owners should also keep crates, food, and extra supplies on hand in case you are required to stay home for an extended period of time. As always, help protect your animals by making sure all vaccinations are up to date and that pets have a collar and identification tag. This will help ensure your pet is returned home safely, should it need to be moved from your home because you are unable to care for it yourself.

Livestock and poultry producers have similar concerns about caring for their animals if they or their staff become ill. Producers should be having discussions with their families and employees about who can help care for the animals should someone become ill. Producers should also arrange alternatives for animal care when employees are sick or required to self-isolate for a period of time. Planning should include identifying the minimum level of care that is necessary to maintain the health and welfare of the animals, and making arrangements in advance with friends, family or neighbours for getting a "helping hand" when needed.

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