Coronavirus: Phase ‘4.1’ kicks off June 22 as one new case announced in Saskatchewan

The provincial government announced the start date of the next phase of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan as it gave an update on new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

On June 22, the first part of Phase 4 of the plan is expected to get underway, according to a press release. Activities scheduled for the first part of Phase 4 include child and youth day camps, outdoor pools and splash pads as well as outdoor sports and activities.

READ MORE: This is how much the coronavirus pandemic has cost Saskatchewan so far

​“Phase 4.1 includes a number of outdoor sports and recreational activities, outdoor pools and spray parks, for example, can open on [June 22],” Premier Scott Moe said.

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“A number of team sports such as soccer, softball or flag football, will be able to reconvene on Monday. And of course, there are a number of guidelines that must be followed to keep everyone safe… they include things like no tournaments or interprovincial travel for our sports teams, no handshakes, no high fives, which will be difficult. And, of course, keep your physical distancing as much as possible.”

Additionally, indoor gathering sizes will be increased from 15 to a maximum of 30 where space allows for physical distancing between participants, effective next week. Health officials discourage potlucks and said there shouldn’t be any shared platters buffet service.

“Also, as part of this phase, the limit on indoor gatherings increases to 30 people, the same as our current outdoor gatherings. Of course, even with the increased gathering size, we will still have to have enough space to maintain proper physical distancing,” Moe said.

Thirteen of the 18 cases announced on Monday were in the far north region. Government officials added most were connected to a wake and a funeral last week in the community of Clearwater River Dene Nation.

“Large public gatherings are a challenge. In saying that, we feel that there are some larger gatherings that can occur and occur safely if all of the other public health recommendations are put in place, the physical distancing, the breaking into groups of 30, if you can, do an outdoor gathering rather than an indoor,” Moe said.

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“When you combine all of these public health recommendations together, there is an opportunity for a safe, larger gathering. I don’t know if that’s all the case in the spread that occurred [in Clearwater River Dene Nation], but we are confident that we’re well into our testing and contact tracing of this particular event. And we hope to have it under control very quickly.”

3:50 Coronavirus: Saskatchewan premier says recent increase in cases mostly due to funeral, wake

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan premier says recent increase in cases mostly due to funeral, wake

Health officials said in the daily update that there was one new case, with the overall total for the province now at 684 since the first case was reported on March 11. Two of the cases are people who live out-of-province but tested positive in Saskatchewan.

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Three people are currently in hospital — two are receiving inpatient care in the north region and Saskatoon while one is in intensive care in the city.

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Two more people have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 631.

There are currently 40 active cases in the province, health officials said. Active cases are total cases less recoveries and deaths.

There have been 13 COVID-19-related deaths in Saskatchewan.

Health officials said 146 cases in the province are travel-related, with 409 due to contacts or mass gatherings. Another 81 have no known exposures and 48 remain under investigation.

Of the 182 total cases reported in the Saskatoon area, 13 are considered active.

In the Regina area, zero of the 80 total cases are active, while the north region has 112 total and one active case.

The south region has 19 total cases and two active cases, the central region had 12 total cases, and the far north has 277 total cases with 22 active cases.

To date, over 56,710 tests have been carried out in the province.

READ MORE: Reducing the coronavirus risk for Saskatchewan lung transplant patients

The second part of Phase 4 is expected to include indoor pools, rinks, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, casinos and bingo halls.

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Moe said he expects to have all of the reopening dates announced by the end of the month.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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WATCH ABOVE: Premier Scott Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab announce Phase ‘4.1’ of Re-Open Saskatchewan plan.

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