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COVID-19 updates for Saskatoon and area for Tuesday March 31, 2020
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.
'She loved music'
A woman who lived on a farm outside of Battleford has been identified as one of the Saskatchewan’s first COVID-19 deaths.
Alice Grove collapsed in her home on Friday from a lack of oxygen. She had a high fever and was rushed to Battlefords Union Hospital, according to her family.
The 75-year-old woman died in hospital on Saturday morning.
Almost half of COVID-19 cases in Saskatoon area
The province announced eight new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday which brings the provincial total to 184.
Ninety of those who have tested positive for the virus are from the Saskatoon area. Regina currently has 39 cases and the province's north is home to 37 cases.
Nine cases are in the province's central region, with six in southern Saskatchewan and three in the far north.
Video call help for seniors?
On Tuesday, Saskatchewan's opposition leader floated the idea of providing tablets to residents in seniors' and long-term care homes to help them stay connected with loved ones through video calls, an idea that is being tried out in Nova Scotia.
"People can feel really separated and really lonely and loneliness is hard on older folks at any time, especially at a time we're under more stress and there's a big crisis going on," NDP Leader Ryan Meili said.
Discarded gloves show up on streets
While health care professionals don masks and gloves to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems people who are wearing gloves in public in an effort to protect themselves from the virus are disposing of them the wrong way.
Pictures of discarded gloves on streets and in parking lots of businesses along Eighth Street surfaced on Tuesday.
“Just dispose of them in the regular garbage,” said city manager Jeff Jorgenson
Challenges for Saskatoon city staff
The COVID-19 pandemic has flipped everyday life on its head, city manager Jeff Jorgenson said in a news release.
“The past weeks have been a steep learning curve," Jorgenson said.
“Our core services like water, sewer, fire protection, and electrical services are in great shape and we have layers of redundancy and employee protection in place to ensure our staff remain safe,” he said.
Social services support announced
Saskatchewan's Ministry of Social Services has announced a new plan to help the province's most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan includes funding for the Lighthouse in Saskatoon and North Battleford, the YWCA in Saskatoon and Prince Albert and the Salvation Army in Saskatoon.
Without school lunches, some kids miss out on nutrition
Now that schools are closed because of COVID-19, a local organization focused on food security wants to ensure students are not stuck with an empty plate.
"A number of children throughout the city have depended on school food programs for their food security. So that's a huge issue now,” Jean Goerzen, Interim Executive Director for CHEP Good Food, said.
Clinic forced to closed because of COVID-19 will reopen
The Rosthern Medical Clinic and Rosthern Hospital ER are expected to reopen Wednesday.
The clinic closed on March 21st after Dr. Jesse Melle and his wife had contracted COVID-19 during a visit to Alberta. Both went into self-isolation.
In a Facebook post, the clinic says it will continue with current vigilant social distancing recommendations to minimize the amount of traffic in healthcare facilities when it re-opens.
Vaccine in the works
With no vaccine for COVID-19 expected for another year or more, Canadian scientists are among thousands of international researchers racing to find a way to immunize people against the new coronavirus.
Back in January, China published the genetic sequence of the virus, firing the starting gun for dozens of research labs across the world, with human trials around the corner.
As the world waits with bated breath, the World Health Organization last week appealed for a shift toward public health strategies that allow us “to live with this virus” until a vaccine emerges.
Notes of positvity
A Saskatchewan Polytechnic student is trying to brighten people’s days during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ashley Lafontaine has been writing positive messages on note cards and leaving them around the city.
“I hope that it just brightens someone’s day, because that’s how I live my daily life — try to be good, because you never know what someone’s going through,” Lafontaine told CTV News.
The promise - and peril - of technology
A technology author worries that kids are on inappropriate social media platforms in the days of self-isolation.
“I worry because kids are getting into an online world that was really built for them and what that means is their privacy isn’t being protected in a lot of ways and with children privacy concerns can often lead to safety concerns,” says Sean Herman, who grew up in Saskatoon and now lives in Vancouver where he wrote a book called Screen Capture: Helping Families Explore the Digital World in the Age of Manipulation.
Small business grants
The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority has started a grant program to support the local economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As our community faces the unprecedented task of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses have been greatly affected,” SREDA President and CEO Alex Fallon said in a news release.
For the first time since its inception in 1979, the annual Saskatchewan Marathon has been cancelled due to increasing concerns over COVID-19.
In a statement, the Saskatoon Road Runners Association said that it was evident that holding the race May 31 was no longer possible and organizers are unable to postpone to a later date in 2020.
Police offer tips for closed businesses
Saskatoon police are offering advice for business owners forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tips include taking steps such as removing valuables, deactivating fob door openers and moving ATMs off-site.
On Monday, the province said that two people died a result of complications related to COVID-19, marking the first deaths connected to the virus in Saskatchewan.
According to the provincial government, two people, both 70 years old, died in hospital on Sunday in two separate parts of Saskatchewan.
“Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of two Saskatchewan residents that have now lost their lives to COVID-19,” Premier Scott Moe said on Monday. “I am so sorry for your loss. The thoughts of all Saskatchewan people are with you at this time.”
Two more people who work at Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre (SPCC) have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of infected staff members at the facility to four.
The news came the same day a woman, whose son is in federal custody at Saskatchewan Penitentiary, called for the release of low-risk offenders in the wake of the pandemic.
Also, a Saskatoon photographer says she’s on a mission to spread joy during an uncertain time, taking portraits of families from a distance and a Saskatoon woman worries that proper physical distancing may be impossible on the city's busiest traill.