COVID-19 updates for Saskatoon and area Monday, March 23
SASKATOON -- This is a developing story. Check back throughout the day for the latest on COVID-19 in Saskatoon and area.
6:31 p.m. People dependent on city bottle depots such as SARCAN for extra cash have lost that income following the closure of those recycling depots. The move comes as the province calls for strict physical distancing amid the spread of COVID-19 nationwide.
Shannon Redwood, who collects social assistance, relied on bottle collection and the returns she would get from SARCAN, she said.
5:01 p.m. A member of the Sutherland Curling Club's Thursday night league has tested positive for COVID-19. General manager Dwayne Yachiw was notified Sunday regarding the positive test and says he sent out a notice to all members explaining the situation.
4:10 p.m. - A children’s entertainer wanted to bring some cheer to kids that were celebrating their birthdays in Martensville this weekend. Deseri Adrian, known as Sprinkles the clown, posted on a local Facebook group offering appearances for children.
Due to pysical distancing most parties that were planned for kids needed to be cancelled, so Adrian performed at a distance to make their special day a bit more memorable.
3:55 p.m. - Cameco is temporarily suspending production at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan and placing the facility in safe care and maintenance mode due to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in unprecedented and challenging times,” said Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel in a news release.
2:22 p.m. - The province of Saskatchewan has 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 66.
1:50 p.m. - An advocacy group for landlords in the province is calling on Premier Scott Moe to set up a provincially-funded rent bank, to offer landlords and renters immediate financial relief for those impacted by COVID-19.
Saskatchewan Landlord Association executive officer Cameron Choquette said there will be some cases where landlords cannot afford to allow their tenants forgiveness on a month’s rent because of their own financial situation.
2:45 p.m. - NDP leader Ryan Meili is calling on the provincial government to provide immediate financial aid for Saskatchewan residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meili wants to see direct cash payments to people struggling financially.
He said the decision to allow businesses to lay-off workers without notice or pay-in-lieu for 12 weeks is going to hurt workers, since applying for Employment Insurance might be difficult.
11:50 a.m. - Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) has created a web page which collects self-directed learning resources for students and parents, sorted by grade level.
"The page offers links to academic sites that are appropriate for each grade level, information about resources within the Saskatoon community, and tips to help parents support their children during this time," a Facebook post from the school division said.
10:52 a.m. - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented new measures to support farmers and 10:52 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented new measures to support farmers and agri-food businesses facing financial challenges of the pandemic.
This includes $5 billion in lending capacity for producers, agribusinesses and food processors and a six-month extension on loan repayments, set to cost $173 million in deferred loans to keep the money in farmers’ pockets.
“I know these are hard times,” Trudeau said to the farming community, offering a thank you to those in the food sector who are keeping Canadians fed at this time of crisis.
10:28 - The federal government has announced $23.3 million in total support for the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac).
No vaccine exists for COVID-19 coronavirus. VIDO-InterVac is the first lab in the country to have a vaccine candidate in animal testing, according to a news release.
The vaccine was made in February, and researchers expect to know in about four weeks whether the vaccine works in an animal model. Clinical testing of this vaccine in humans could start as early as this fall, the release says.
9:15 - Eight new cases of COVID-19 were announced Sunday in Saskatchewan. The total number of cases in the province is now 52. There are now 33 confirmed cases and 19 presumptive cases in the province.
Saskatoon City Council's regular meetings will go ahead today even though City Hall is closed to the public. The meeting — as is usual practice — will be available via livestream on the city's website.
In addition to other measures, the province's mandatory 14-day self-isolation order remains in place for anyone who has travelled internationally or has come into contact with someone with COVID-19.