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.

Here's advice on how to practice physical/social distancing and how to properly self-isolate at home.  Struggling financially because of COVID-19?  Support may be available from the federal government and the province.

Sixth death from COVID-19, 11 new cases in north

On Wednesday, the province reported that COVID-19 has claimed a sixth life in Saskatchewan. A person in their 80s from the province's north died from complications related to the virus.

The news comes after an 83-year-old resident of a long-term care facility in La Loche died in hospital on Sunday, the fifth COVID-19 victim in the province.

As of Wednesday, there were 17 new cases of the virus, 11 of which were found in Saskatchewan's far north, where 52 of the province's 86 active cases are located.

So far there have been 383 cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, with 291 recoveries.  

Cluster of cases at Lloydminster Hospital

Four new cases of COVID-19 in Lloydminster have been linked to a cluster based in Lloydminster Hospital, according to the province.

Thirteen cases have been identified, including five health care workers and eight patients, and transmission has occurred in the hospital setting, according to a news release. As of April 29, the patients are being organized in separate units in Lloydminster Hospital.

Baking for the vulnerable

The owner of a local bakery in Saskatoon is making changes to provide food for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keith Jorgenson owns Nestor’s bakery on 20th Street and says they are repurposing their business to provide bread for organizations or those who identify as low-income who need food.

He says they are either giving the bread away or selling it at cost for one dollar.

State of emergency extende, phase one of "reopen" plan to move ahead

Phase one of the Reopen Saskatchewan plan will still begin on Monday while exlcuding La Loche and Lloydminister, due to outbreaks in those communities.

Although Saskatchewan saw its second double digit case increase in two days, Premier Moe said the government feels confident moving forward with the Reopen Saskatchewan plan throughout the rest of the province.

The first phase of the plan primarily focuses on providing medical services currently restricted under the current Public Health Order.

On Wednesday, the premier also extended the provincial state of emergency by two weeks.

More testing, health care workers

During a news conference in Regina Wednesday afternoon, Premier Scott Moe said testing is being ramped up in La Loche, where 38 of the far north's cases are located according to health officials.

"If there are people in La Loche that would like to be tested, they will have the opportunity to be tested. We won't be forcing people to be tested but we are asking them to be tested ad we have the resources to test if need be, the entire community," Moe said.

Moe also said the SHA will also be sending 50 to 100 staff to Saskatchewan's far north to help with testing and contract tracing.

An SHA email obtained by CTV News provides a glimpse into how the staffing ramp-up might be achieved.

email screenshot

Positive test at Beauval General Store

A person at the Beauval General Store tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

Customers who have recently shopped or bought gas at this store between April 12 and April 27 should self-isolate until May 12 and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, the SHA says.

Province must have firm message: prof

As the weather gets warmer and the province plans on gradually reopening services and businesses, an assistant professor at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in Regina says it’s important for the government to keep people’s attention and be as specific as possible in guiding their behaviour.

“It’s going to be very important to have specific tools and visuals in mind to help us keep that safe distance,” said Cheryl Camillo, who is also the director of the Master of Health Administration program.

This includes having signage in public spaces reminding people to practice physical distancing and to wear a mask, she said.


Layoffs at U of S

The University of Saskatchewan may be laying off employees.

Due to COVID-19, the university is not planning large-scale re-opening of full university operations within the next several weeks.

According to a statement from Gord Hunchak, the associate vice president of communications, the university has developed a process to facilitate temporary layoffs of employees who are not able to perform their regular work.

Tuesday recap

After a recent spike in cases in Saskatchewan's north, the province reported just one new confirmed case of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

That brings the total number of cases to 366, with 70 of the cases considered active.

Of those cases, 42, are concentrated in the Saskatchewan Health Authority's "far north" category, which includes communities such as La Loche and English River First Nation that have seen multiple cases.

Five people in the province have died from the virus over the course of the pandemic, most recently a long-term care reisdent from La Loche, and 291 patients have recovered.

After examining how the pandemic has played out so far in the province, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) revised its worst-case scenario that it uses for planning purposes.

The latest models released by the SHA on Tuesday show how far efforts in the province to flatten the curve have gone to limit the spread of COVID-19 — but also illustrate the very real threat COVID-19 still poses if left unchecked.

Hunting and fishing outfitters that would be gearing up for another season in Saskatchewan are instead facing difficult decisions and financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “There’s a percentage of the sector that’s already made the decision that they won’t be open in 2020,” said Roy Anderson, CEO of the Saskatchewan Commission of Professional Outfitters.