Released on March 12, 2020
Saskatchewan Ministry of Health’s Provincial Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab has confirmed Saskatchewan’s first presumptive case of COVID-19. The resident is in their 60s with recent travel to Egypt.
Experiencing symptoms, the individual was tested March 9 in Saskatoon and has been well enough to self-isolate at home. Public health officials are in regular contact with this individual.
“The province’s first case is linked to travel from a country where local transmission of COVID-19 has been reported,” Dr. Shahab said. “This supports the expanded testing criteria of symptomatic travelers to better prepare Saskatchewan’s response to the COVID-19 event. All travelers need to monitor their symptoms for two weeks upon return home.”
Public health’s contact investigation is underway and will connect with this individual’s close contacts. If you do not receive a call from public health, you are not at risk of transmission of COVID-19 from this individual.
The Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory reported the positive lab sample March 12, 2020, and has forwarded it to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for confirmation.
“While the risk of acquiring COVID-19 in Saskatchewan continues to be low, increased testing will assist us in detecting cases as early as possible and delaying the spread of the illness as long as possible,” Shahab said. “But it is critical that residents take precautions to protect themselves against respiratory illness. Wash your hands frequently, practice good cough and sneeze hygiene and stay home if you are sick.”
“The Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority have dedicated planning teams in place,” Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “Our government is committed to providing the resources our public health system requires to mitigate and respond to COVID-19.”
Protect Yourself from Respiratory Illness:
- Wash your hands frequently – for at least 20 seconds;
- Do not touch surfaces and then your mouth, eyes or nose;
- Use tissues when you cough or sneeze and dispose of them immediately, use your elbow if a tissue not available;
- Practice social distancing by not shaking hands, hugging, etc.;
- Stay home if you become ill and prevent the spread of the illness.
All travellers should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after returning to Canada and avoid places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill. If you have even mild symptoms, stay home and call HealthLine 811 for advice.
Contact HealthLine 811 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada for direction.
Visit www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus for updated information on COVID-19, including questions and answers for the public and care providers and testing surveillance.
Visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices for travel guidance.
We understand that residents of Saskatchewan may have questions regarding COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.
If you have recently travelled internationally and are experiencing respiratory or flu-like symptoms, please call Healthline 811.
For the latest advice to the public and information on prevention measures being taken, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca/Coronavirus.
For public inquiries, contact:
Or contact a regional Public Health Office through the contact information available here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/public-health/public-health-offices
For more information, contact: