COVID-19 updates for Saskatoon and area for Monday, May 25
A sign posted along a Saskatoon street offers hand washing advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SASKATOON -- Check back throughout the day for the latest on COVID-19 in Saskatoon and area.
If you're concerned you might be infected with COVID-19, the Saskatchewan COVID-19 self assessment tool is a helpful resource.
Two new cases
Monday afternoon, the province said there are two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. Both new cases were in the northern part of the province, with one of the cases in the far north.
As of Monday, there were a total number of 634 confirmed cases in Saskatchewan since the start of the pandemic. Eighty-one of those cases are considered active. Of the 81 active cases, 68 are concentrated in the far north.
New guidelines came into effect Monday, significantly expanding the criteria for who in Saskatchewan is able to be tested for COVID-19.
Under the new guidelines, anyone who is working outside of the home or anyone returning to work as part of the province's reopening plan is now eligible.
Immunocompromised people can also be tested, even if they are not showing symptoms.
Any patients being admitted into hospital for more than 24 hours, including expectant mothers can be tested.
When the expanded testing criteria was announced on May 20, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said mobile worksite testing for those employed in "high-volume settings" such as factories would be offered as well.
Testing was previously available only for people experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, anyone who had come into contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus, anyone being admitted into a long-term care home, and anyone working or living in a care home if someone in the facility had tested positive for the virus.
People will still be referred to testing by calling HealthLine 811.
Sask. realtors to conduct open houses again with restructions
Realtors will be allowed to start holding open houses again, but with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
The new health and safety criteria includes disclosure surveys and contact information records to aid in contact tracing in case someone tests positive after attending an open house.
Only two people will be allowed inside at a time and will be expected to sanitize, not touch anything, wear shoes and/or disposable booties and maintain physical distance.
Saskatoon lab plans human trials for potential COVID-19 vaccine
After showing promising results in animals, human clinical trials for a Saskatoon lab's potential COVID-19 vaccine could begin as early as this fall.
In a news release, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), said the vaccine proved "highly effective" in ferrets, animals which are widely used for COVID-19 modelling.
During the trial, the vaccine decreased viral infection in the animals' upper respiratory tract "to almost undetectable levels."
Legally blind man facing added costs because of COVID-19
A legally blind man says he is facing more challenges because of COVID-19 restrcitions.
Rick Neustaeter was born with a condition that has caused his vision to deteriorate. He requires some assistance to be as independent as possible.
Neustaeter is hesitatnt to use public transit right now because he doesn't want to be around others and possibly be exposed to COVID-19.
He said going to the grocery store is also challenging as he is unable to see the signs, directing where to go.
Potential 'scam' advertises fake live-streamed concert
While many performers are turning to livestreamed events to connect with fans, one Saskatoon band is warning of a potential scam.
The Garrys took to Facebook to warn of a scam advertising a fake live-streamed event featuring the band that isn’t actually happening.
Paid parking resumes
Starting 9 a.m. on Monday, paid on-stree parking resumed in Saskatoon.
At a special meeting of city council, officials voted in favour of reinstating public pay parking requirements starting Monday May 25, a move the city said will help boost the economy.
“The reinstatement of public pay parking requirements and enforcement will help ensure parking-space turnover for customers and businesses in high-demand pay parking zones.”
Saskatchewan reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday afternoon. Of the province's total 632 confirmed cases, 87 are considered active.
Of the 87 active cases, 75 were concentrated in the far north.
The new cases were both located in the far north. Three more people have recovered which brings the provincial total number of recoveries to 538.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) issued a safety alert for HealthCare Plus Hand Sanitizer, saying not to use it if pregnant or breastfeeding.
That has resulted in shortages of key ingredients used in hand sanitizer, such as pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, according to the SHA.
To combat this, Health Canada has authorized manufacturers to use technical-grade ethanol in the hand sanitizer they produce.
The SHA recommends high-risk individuals check the label before using hand sanitizer and to discontinue the use of any products containing the ingredient.
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market was just settling into its new location on Koyl Avenue when it had to shut its doors alongside many other business due to COVID-19.
But over the weekend, the market again opened its doors.
"It’s pretty good to be back, not just for the sales aspect, but just for the whole social aspect too, you know? We get to say hi to our regular customers again. It’s a wonderful thing," vendor Ian Paranteau said.
A Saskatoon couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend in a unique manner.
The couple says they assumed their dream of spending their anniversary with friends and extended family would never happen until their neighbours and children surprised them with a celebratory parade outside of their home.
More than 50 vehicles, each decorated with balloons drove past.
--With files from CTV News Regina