OHS Canada Magazine

COVID-19 closes Saskatchewan RCMP detachment, school, with cases at hospital

Yorkton Regional High School moves students to remote learning


September 29, 2020
By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
Categories
Health & Safety

YORKTON, Sask. — An RCMP detachment and a high school have closed in a city in southeastern Saskatchewan because of COVID-19.

Mounties said Monday that a front-line officer at their Yorkton detachment contracted the novel coronavirus and was isolating. Fourteen other officers and six civilian employees were also in isolation.

Police said the detachment is closed to the public for non-emergency issues for two weeks, based on advice from public health officials.

Yorkton Regional High School is moving students to remote learning for the next few weeks after four people connected with the school tested positive for COVID-19.

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Good Spirit School Division said in a letter to parents that it believes the infections came from the community and are not the result of school transmission.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said three staff at the city’s hospital also have tested positive and their close contacts were isolating.

Health officials said the cases in Yorkton are believed to be tied to a local fitness facility. The Ministry of Health announced outbreaks at the Pumphouse Athletic Club, as well as at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre and high school.

Officials reported 14 new cases in the province Monday. Eight people were in hospital.

There were 17 cases in Yorkton.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said officials know where most of the new infections are coming from in Yorkton, and the immediate priority is to identify close contacts for testing.

So far, there were at least 100 known contacts, he said.

Shahab said he expects the number of cases in the city will rise over the next week or so before levelling off.

“Two weeks ago, out of the 109 active cases (in Yorkton), 10 per cent had no known source of exposure. Last week, out of the 125 active cases, 15 per cent had no known source of exposure, so that’s a metric to watch,” Shahab told a news conference.

“As long as we can identify transmission chains, we don’t need to put in broader public health measures.”