SASKATOON -- Thousands of untested people could be walking around Saskatoon with COVID-19 and spreading it, Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark says.

Only about 300-400 people are getting tested per day despite the capacity for more than 1,000, he said in a Twitter post.

“If you have even the mildest of symptoms and think it is just a cold or dry winter cough, please err on the side of caution and get tested. Remember to wait 48 hours after symptom onset to be tested as you may need to be retested.”

He said the Saskatoon test sites are not busy and wait times are posted on the Saskatchewan Health Authority website. People can also call 811 to schedule an appointment.

"The most concerning sources of spread are household mixing, workplace transmissions and bar (and) nightclub behaviour," Clark said.

His comments came after two Saskatoon bars were slapped with $14,000 fines for violating public health orders.

“Please do not invite people to your home or have playdates or sleepovers for your children. Whether you are at your workplace, socializing inside, or at an outside activity, please wear a mask and make sure you are staying distanced. If you are sick, stay home,” Clark said.

An increase in COVID-19 patients also affects other health care services, such as the capacity to take care of people who have had strokes and heart attacks or who need cancer treatments or surgery, he said.

He said it will be months before most residents are vaccinated and that people can’t let up on practices of distancing, masking and sanitizing.