COVID-19 updates for Saskatoon and area Tuesday, March 24
SASKATOON -- This is a developing story. Check back throughout the day for the latest on COVID-19 in Saskatoon and area.
6:54 p.m. - Shoppers Drug Mart is now providing a virtual care platform for customers to access medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pharmacy is partnering with tech company Maple to launch an online service for people wanting to speak with doctors and other health care providers.
6:45 p.m. - The city has announced playgrounds will close Wednesday and sports fields should no longer be used for organized play.
"Do not play games, sports and activities, like soccer and shinny hockey, that put you in close contact with others," the city said in a news release.
6:19 p.m. - Safety concerns about COVID-19 have prompted Orano Canada Inc. to suspended production at its McClean Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan.
The decision was made in conjunction with Cameco as it halted operations at the Cigar Lake mine.
5:39 p.m. - A Saskatoon London Drugs store has seen a surge in sales for technology needed to hold meetings and conference calls.
“We’re literally burning the midnight oil in our tech services department," Tim Yaworski told CTV News.
The sales increase comes as more people are working from home or physically distancing themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3:58 p.m.- During a news conference in Regina this afternoon, Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone discussed a SHA document obtained by CTV News and other media that included some stark projections about how COVID-19 could "overwhelm" province's health system if left unchecked.
He said the model was meant to illustrate a worst-case scenario.
"It's critical people understand that we've got to consider some of the worst-case scenarios when we're doing planning," Livingston said.
2:19 p.m. - The Saskatchewan Health Authority is placing restrictions on donated supplies to ensure their integrity.
Due to current visitor restrictions, supplies should not be donated directly to its facilities, the SHA said in a release.
12:57 p.m. - The spread of COVID-19 could exceed the Saskatchewan Health Authority's capacity for acute services and amount to a death toll in the thousands, says a document.
It says that with a 30 per cent infection rate, about 240,000 people are expected to remain at home while 15,000 people will require hospitalization in intensive care units.
A fatality rate of between three to five per cent, or between 9,000 and 15,000 people, is expected, it reads.
12:16 p.m. - On Tuesday the leader of Saskatchewan's opposition party called on the province to take additional measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the government should further limit gatherings to a maximum of five people.
Meili also said the provincial government should share more information about COVID-19 cases, including their severity, and the expansion of testing to people who are showing symptoms but have no history of recent travel.
10:51 a.m. - A bit of non-COVID-19-related news: Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) says four crashes resulted from the dump of spring snow the city received this morning.
There were no injuries according to police, but SPS is advising drivers to slow down.
9:34 a.m. - The city is asking people to limit bus rides to trips that are absolutely essential.
Saskatoon Transit also began operating on a reduced schedule this week.
9:27 a.m. - On Tuesday the City of Saskatoon said it will lay off "a number" of casual staff in the wake of the recent closures of city facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
8:47 a.m. - The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA) has put out the call for non-practicing, retired registered nurses or graduate nurses who are eligible to write their nursing exam, or nurses eligible to practice in other Canadian jurisdictions.
"Licensure of eligible registered nurses will be expedited during the COVID-19 global pandemic," the SRNA says on its website.